THE SKINNERS’ SCHOOL Newsletter – Term 2 2013-14
In this edition…… Year 7 residential trip Kent Young Chef of the Year CCF and hockey reports
and much more…..
HEADMASTER’S FOREWORD I hope that this Newsletter provides pupils with rich memories of activities undertaken just before Christmas and in the early part of this term, and I hope that it also gives parents and friends a glimpse of the busy eclectic nature of the school. We are in search of scholarship, unashamedly, but we are also intent on facilitating a breadth of experience that helps create rounded and interesting people. It also gives the school a buzz. On the subject of scholarship, particular congratulations to our successful Oxbridge applicants. Ben La Trobe (History), Callum Luckett (English), Ben Breathwick (HSPS), Matthew Ford (History and Economics), Mustafa Ahmed (Law) and Dan Corner (Engineering) richly deserve the accolade. All university applicants are sitting on university offers now and I wish the U6th the very best with making sure they meet demanding offers from the best universities in the land. The heat, as they say, is now on. Equally, we were encouraged by mock GCSE results. Year 11 can approach the summer with a combination of ambition and confidence. There is hard work to be done but GCSEs are on a CV for life, so the prize is considerable. There was a buzz about year 11 at A level Options Evening recently, which suggested they appreciate the significance of what they are doing. Meanwhile other areas of the school shine a light on all that our pupils do well. It was a pleasure to award the U13 XV the Rugby Team of the Year award at the end of term assembly in December and I look forward to seeing how they take to Sevens later this term. The school’s first Basketball fixtures have been successful, with the U13 (again) team so far unbeaten. Cross-country and swimming results have been most encouraging.
But the highlight of a horribly wet January has been the senior production of Our Country’s Good, the story of an early penal colony in Australia. This was an outstanding production, wonderfully performed by a superb ensemble and brilliantly staged by a remarkable technical team. The play played to full houses over three nights and to rave reviews from all who saw it. For me good drama and bold productions are one of the litmus tests of a good school. To the Director, Claire Fenton, and to all who contributed, very many thanks. Do enjoy the newsletter: another one will follow soon in order to keep pace with all that is going on!
YEAR 7 CORNBURY TRIP 2013 On 23rd of October 2013, Year 7 set off on a journey to Cornbury, Oxfordshire, for the annual residential trip. The eager anticipation and excitement that followed our departure resulted in an extra 50 kilograms of sugar being consumed at the halfway point! Finally, the teachers managed to get us settled down by allowing our bags to be delivered by truck. With the pupils having absolutely no idea what to do until we collected our bags, the teachers divided us into groups and talked to us about the camp and its surroundings. (I wish I had listened more carefully!) After that, we sat down to grill our first meal of the trip. The fish, which had already been gutted, did not prove a problem but lighting the fire was. After several flawed attempts, we finally lit the fire, cooked the fish and managed to eat a proper lunch. I had never considered freshly caught fish could be so warming and delicious! Hot cocoa followed, and we were treated to a rendition of the homework song by Carl, one of our Form Prefects. We were dazzled by the lyrics, and the mock theme of having around 2 hours of homework a night! The second day started with an early wake-up call to collect firewood. As it had been damp the night before, it proved slightly harder to find suitable firewood. Group Two started with setting up natural models of the camp from scavenged wood and leaves. This was one of the many tasks set for us that day; tasks that included whittling wood, and ‘shelter’ building for our prefects’ heads! That evening we slept in our man built shelters, one of the highlights of the whole trip. Next to a leaking wooden wall, and listening to the continual rainfall, I still managed to get around 4 hours of sleep! For the journey home, I estimate that around 25% of us fell asleep. It had been a tiring and arduous trip, but nonetheless, an exciting and memorable one. I would like to thank all the teachers, especially Mr Johnson, for organising this trip, and for putting up with us on the way!
Jonathan Newman Year 7
Year 7 Residential October 2013
In the midst of rain-sodden October, a glimmer of sunshine was found in the Year 7 residential trip to Cornbury. One might have thought that morale would be rather low as we congregated at 6.30 am, with a seemingly orchestrated torrent of a monsoon upon School House. However, as all members of an excitable Year 7, their enthusiastic prefects, the form tutors and I set off for Oxfordshire, it was clear the mentality was in place to embrace all experiences that the trip would bring. As Jonathanâ€™s report infers, we were exposed to numerous new challenges and skills that sharpened both mind and body, fostering a real sense of community in the group. Particular memories that I will take from the experience are: witnessing the gutting and preparation of a salmon, first aid survival and the opportunity to make an overnight shelter..â€ŚNot to mention, the demands placed on us all to build and maintain an open fire for both cooking and warmth. All boys came out of the experience with an awful lot of credit, not least in the way they supported each other and pushed their boundaries. A special word of thanks must go to accompanying teachers: Mr Renaudie, Mr James, Mr Hardy, Mrs Stanley, Mr Green, and Mr Flower, together with the outstanding Year 7 prefects for their support and zest for adventure. Chris Johnson Head of Year 7
THERMAL IMAGING In Biology we have been learning how the body regulates temperature, but as ‘heat’ is invisible to our eyes, Mr Moody borrowed a FLIR Thermal Imaging Camera and we were able to use it to observe different areas of heat loss. With the benefit of this technology, we discovered that the eyes are the warmest parts of our face with the closest temperature to 370C – mainly because eyes have no natural insulation. We also found out that if someone draws their name on a desk just using their finger, the invisible heat signature stays there for up to 30 seconds.
Rubbing hands together generated friction and showed up bright on the camera, whereas placing the hands on the surface of a table conducted heat away, and the hands looked colder on the camera screen. People who had thick hair (eg. Jason Sweeney’s ‘afro’) had heads that were well insulated, whereas those with shorter hair lost more heat – obvious really, but it was still good to see this in infrared. Electrical equipment on ‘stand-by’ also showed up well, with the adapter and keyboard being the two hottest parts of the lab computer.
Imprint of a hand on a desk
Finally, Mr Moody showed us some other photos taken by his STEM group around the school. This was an amazing, practical way to learn about heat loss using a state of the art piece of technology. Kyle Matveeva - Year 10 Under floor heating pipes in the Sports Hall
A computer screen left on ‘standby’
A radiator in the Sports Hall
STEM Club and VEX Robots Thanks to a grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering, a team of Year 11 and 12 pupils built our first VEX Competition robot in October. It looks like old fashioned ‘Meccano’ but it is in fact a very sophisticated, strong machine based on the NASA Mars Rover. It has an on-board programmable computer, and can be controlled by a handset, or programmed to run autonomous tasks. Not wanting to be outdone, the junior section of STEM club asked if they could have their own robot to compete with as well, and so Mr Moody and senior boys Sam White and Eliot Lindsay made a presentation and request to the Skinners’ Parents’ Association. We were really pleased to find out that the PA were happy to support our application and generously agreed to buy us our second competition ‘bot.
STEM Careers ‘Big Things Happen with the Smallpeice Trust’ The Smallpeice Trust offers a variety of inspiring hands-on residential courses for aspiring engineers from Year 8 to Year 12. Each course lasts between 3 and 4 days and takes place at the top universities, where you get the chance to connect with professionals and technical specialists, and help develop essential skills like problem solving and teamwork. The courses themselves cover a wide range of interesting and topical areas; for example, ‘Cyber Security’ and ‘Nuclear Marine Engineering’ in Year 9; ‘Nuclear Engineering’ and ‘Renewable Engineering’ in Year 10;‘Aerospace Engineering’ and ‘Biochemical Engineering ‘ in Year 11 - right the way through to ‘High Speed Communications’, ‘Nanotechnology’ and ‘Supercomputing’ in Year 12. Each visit is subsidised by the Trust and typically costs around £200 for 3 days full board (2 nights residential on campus). Pupils in Year 11 and 12 are already enrolled on some of these courses, so if you are in Years 8, 9 or 10 and fancy a possible career in engineering, either see Mr Moody in the Science Office for more details or, to view the full list of available courses for yourself , go online www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk. Mark Moody Head of STEM
Annual camp is renowned for being the highlight of the CCF year, and looking back on this year’s visit to Sennybridge, outside Brecon in South Wales, we can certainly see just how true this statement is. The contingent received nothing but positive feedback from those whose job it was to provide the training; they were greatly impressed with our efforts and presentation. As our party of 80 was the largest among the schools attending, our week was structured differently, with cadets being assigned to one of two training groups. Some started by live firing on a 100m range and others by building rafts to cross a lake, but both groups had the opportunity to complete all the activities at different times in the week. The day at the range not only involved shooting with the standard Cadet GP rifle, but also included first aid training, quad biking and clay pigeon shooting; there was never a day without a range of activities. Rafting required engineering, teamwork and problem solving skills in order to be successful. The day began with cadets being taught how to tie specific knots, which served different purposes depending on the situation. As the day progressed the mud- from the rain that had fallen the previous day- became more of a nuisance. With each team’s might and effort, two rafts were built from barrels and planks. Tying them as instructed with grime covered rope, the teams set off in a series of races across the lake that required extreme physical effort and coordination. In the middle of the week cadets honed their orienteering skills, both in the classroom and on the training area, from lectures given by training team staff – except for those in years 12 and 13 as it was decided that they needed more of a ‘challenge’. So they were shut into a blacked out van, taken to an unknown location nearby, given a map and compass and were expected to pinpoint exactly where they were on the map using only their surroundings and their common sense.
Another day included canoeing on one of the many small reservoirs in the area. A calm day out turned quickly to one requiring extensive effort as cadets found themselves playing ‘canoe bulldog’, which had fairly simple rules – you sink, you’re it. A series of command tasks were run during the day by senior NCOs for those waiting their turn on the water. The evenings were also taken up by activity: archery, rugby and drill took up the majority of this time, meaning that the groan of ‘lights out at 11:00pm’ was soon less of a worry, though reveille at 0600 was always a struggle.
The week progressed at pace and the time to test the cadets’ military skills soon arrived. The entire contingent was split into three separate platoons, each comprising three sections; three platoon commanders and nine section leaders were appointed to lead their cadets through a 24 hour exercise, with only limited opportunities for sleep. In the initial phase, the platoons were taught different formations to use depending on the situation, including the correct procedure for ambushes and platoon/section attacks – a hint of what was to come. Once this was done the platoons were marched up to Camp HQ by their commanders and everybody was briefed by the Camp’s Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) on the exercise objectives. When this was complete all were loaded onto coaches for transport to the training area.
The next morning, after a section from each platoon had completed an undercover reconnaissance mission of enemy locations, the platoons drew on their reserves of energy and together turned the calm hills of Wales into a battlefield filled with the roars of machine guns and explosions. The platoons pushed onwards and after 2 hours of pure adrenaline and will-power – finished off the remaining enemy, becoming ultimately victorious.
With the exercise complete, everyone returned to camp, only to find a drill competition awaited us. Skinners’ did not bother with rest, food or drink, and powered on to win the overall Camp competition. The final parade of the week was an anxious one for some; it was time for senior NCOs to step down while the highest positions in the CCF for the year ahead were to be taken up by the junior NCOs: the rank of Junior CSM went to Isaac Hooper, Senior CSM to Rob Hampton and RSM to Robbie Outram. After being dropped off at the classified location, the platoons were met by a ‘UN General’ and led to a nearby forest. Taken by surprise, the platoons were immediately ambushed and taken hostage, only to be saved moments later by ‘special forces’. The platoons then continued down into the forest, setting up separate harbour areas and prepared for the midnight ambush. During this time ammunition was collected by one of the sections whilst the other two went off in search of enemy intelligence. Once returned and the platoons complete, all set off for the ambush site. In silence, cadets waited in the undergrowth, rifles ready, each with 30 rounds. Voices could be heard in the distance and then the unknowing enemies passed by. A trip flare was the cue for an almighty and deafening sound of gunfire and the hostiles fell to the ground. There was no time to waste as enemy backup had undoubtedly heard the encounter, so the platoons quickly hurried back to their bases for a couple of hours sleep.
The 2013 CCF year was complete, with the former senior NCOs looking to their future outside school, with great memories of their time in the CCF; the new appointees prepared themselves for a very different challenge, now finding themselves leaders after being instructed and taught for so long. For all involved in the Camp there was a great sense of accomplishment; much effort had been expended, much had been achieved and a great deal had been learned. The whole Camp met on parade the following morning before departure for presentations from the Training Team. CSgt Valdemar Moller received an award for the best shooting of the week (for the second year in succession) and retiring CSM David House received the Drill Competition Shield. Thanks are due to Major Kelso and his fellow officers, whose hard work and enthusiasm made the whole experience truly incredible. CSgt Ross Manwaring, U6L5
Skinners’ vs Judd Indoor Hockey Tournament (Monday 9th December) Four teams of Year 7 and 8 boys represented Skinners’ in an indoor hockey tournament with Judd just before Christmas. Being the first time we had met our local rivals in indoor hockey terms, anticipation was high. Indeed, it was delivered - all four Skinners’ sides deserve praise. A Year 7 team comprising: Alex Britton, Matthew Morey, Ben Thomson, Gabriel Woods, Dylan Sergeant and Alex Thomson narrowly lost the final 1 – 0. With a number of boys representing the school for the first time and in some cases only having taken up the sport in September, much confidence can found for the future of hockey at Skinners’. Whilst it would be easy to mention a number of boys for their commitment and level performance, particular congratulation should go to Alex Thomson for being Year 7 player of the tournament and Tom James for being the Year 8 player of the tournament. With a repeat fixture to look forward to in February next year, Skinners’ will look to practise hard in the meantime in the quest to topple their rivals. Our senior students took on staff and old boys on in a triangular tournament in the Sports Hall a week later, illustrating the growing strength of the sport at school. Mr Johnson Head of Year 7
Year 8 Chess Club I am pleased to announce that a Year 8 Chess Club started in January 2014. It takes place at lunchtime from 12.40 in Room M1 . A packed lunch is advisable but early lunch passes can be provided (apply to Mrs Wickham). The Chess Club is ably aided by three Year 13 prefects. If your son is interested in joining, please ask him to see me to sign up. Mrs Wickham Head of Year 8
Year 8 Charity Update On December 13th 2013 Year 8 supported the Christmas Jumper Day, arranged nationally by Save the Children - we raised a marvellous £100. We had great fun taking part as seen in the photograph of 8H. Since September, 8A have raised £320 with a cake sale and triathlon for Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden; 8K have raised £200 for the RSPCA with cake sales, pumpkin carving and a cricket tournament and 8S have raised £63 for Great Ormond Street and KSS Air Ambulance. Well done to all forms ,their tutors and prefects. Mrs Wickham Head of Year 8
1st XI Hockey Churcher’s College vs. Skinners’ 8th January 2014 English Hockey Association Cup In spite of our opponents, Churcher’s College, having two current England youth internationals in their ranks, and the experience of an all-conquering winter tour to the warm climates of Barcelona under their belts, there was much to be celebrated from this Skinners’ display in the rain sodden surroundings of rural Hampshire. Early forays in to the Churcher’s D led to a succession of Skinners’ short corners. It seemed an early goal for the away team was an inevitability. Unfortunately, the forward line’s less than clinical approach would be regretted as midway through the first half an exceptional piece of individual skill wrong-footed the twinkle toed poise of debutant Parker in the Skinners’ goal. Industry from Messrs Lindsey, de Carle and Hooper in creating such opportunities must be applauded. Two further short corner goals were scored by their opponents leaving the halftime score at a less than desirable 3-0. Coach Johnson needn’t have feared that heads would go down as the whole squad rightly felt this game was not over; Skinners’ had got to take their chances when presented with them. Indeed, the second half was very much equal in possession and opportunities in front of goal, with Skinners’ unfortunately again unable to take them. Alas, two further goals from the home side showed the opposition’s superiority in this area – an area Skinners’ must improve in if they are to maximise their potential over the course of this season. Much optimism can actually be built from this 5-0 defeat against one of the premier sides in schools hockey. Whilst particular praise must be given to debutant Lindsey for his tireless work ethic in the middle of the pitch and captain Moor for his ability to pick his moments in the tackle, the clear celebratory factor has to be the development of a Skinners’ spirit, abundantly evident aboard the ‘fun bus’, making the long journey home actually quite bearable. This effort paid off a week later with victory in a local derby against Judd. Chris Johnson
We were fortunate to be invited by Jo de Pear, Tonbridge Schoolâ€™s resident artist, for a printing day at the school in January. Jo had produced two screens for us to print from. One had our own images burnt onto the screen, the other was an empty aperture, which was made to create a monoprint background. We had a short demonstration of how to print using screens , after which we were sent off to attempt to screen print using our own screens. As a base we were to produce a monoprint background. To achieve this we placed an acetate copy of our black and white image underneath the blank screen. We then chose several colours and painted a very rough background which was meant to fit loosely with our image. My first attempt at this had many white spaces, which was in fact the desired effect. However, Jo swiftly rejected my idea and told me to work by filling all the white spaces with colour. She also told me to try painting the background, thinking carefully about the colour scheme so that each wall, window and ground were a different colour. Although this did work reasonably well, I wasnâ€™t as happy with the result as I was with my own, rougher background. Once we had several backgrounds, we were told to start using our graphical screen. The graphical screen which we had burnt for us had the exact image we had sent off on the screen. This is extremely useful as it often takes a very long time to produce an accurate piece of work. In contrast,, printing in this style can take minutes. I decided to use black ink for all of my graphic prints. This was effective as it created a clinical, clean cut image over the top of what were reasonably rough, quick backgrounds. Three successful pieces of work later, I understand the concept of screen printing. We are truly grateful to Jo for inviting us for this informative and successful day. Reuben Turvey L6
S U M O & B U B B L E
F O O T B A L L
Much to the entertainment of the students, staff had the opportunity to have some fun before Christmas, with a Sumo contest, and a session of Bubble Football.
KENT YOUNG CHEF OF THE YEAR 2013 Over the October half term, whilst holidaying in the French sun, I was not reading nor listening to music. I was writing a recipe; a recipe, that little did I know, would lead on to winning The Kent Young Chef Award 2013, for the second year running. I was frantically searching the web for innovative burger recipes. I so badly wanted to make a burger, as I believed it would stand out from the crowd, and it is also very on-trend at the ‘cool’ London restaurants. My father, who owns a restaurant with my mother, came up with the idea whilst at the gym! It was a strange place to be thinking of a competition, and it was quite a few months before the recipe was due in. We hadn’t even begun talking about it! So there I was, in the south of France, when I suddenly considered venison. It had won me last year’s competition (with my Venison Wellington), and I thought what better thing to balance out this very lean meat, than bone marrow? I kept adding little touches and elements to my dish until I was happy with it. I sent off my recipe for a Venison & Bone Marrow Burger, with Triple Cooked Chips, Vinegar Salt, Burnt Onion Rings, Herb Salad and an Oreo and Vanilla Milkshake.
Shortly after sending off my recipe, I received the news that I had got through to the final! I was so over-themoon, as I didn’t think that I would even get this far, and to be honest, I didn’t think that the judges would get the dish. I didn’t think that they would understand that I wanted to show how someone of my age who doesn’t cook restaurant food at home, could do it in a competition. I didn’t think they would realise that it was possible to take the humble home burger, and elevate it to the level of a competition. On Friday 22nd November, I woke up feeling very nervous. Panicking, I prepared all of my kit and ingredients, and set off.
After sitting in the Tonbridge rush-hour traffic for thirty minutes, we arrived! I was shown upstairs where I waited, eagerly and nervously, for my ‘opponents’ to arrive. At about 9.30, we drew station numbers from a hat and, coincidentally, I got the same station as last year! At 10.10, we started. The following 2 hours were hard to remember, but what I do know is that they were the longest two hours of my life! Sadly, I thought I had overcooked my chips and I forgot my sauce and ketchup, but they looked pretty happy while judging it and I noticed that they nearly ate it all! When it came to announcing the result, all I could feel was my heart pumping and adrenalin rushing- I have never felt so nervous. When they announced me as the winner, an urge to jump in the air with excitement came over me. I contained myself but I was so pleased that I had won. Ben Colley – 8H
THE WINNING DISH
SCIENCE GETS FESTIVE!
Christmas lunch Wednesday 18th December was the date of this yearâ€™s school Christmas Lunch. Mr Hendry arranged for the school orchestra to play festive tunes whilst pupils and staff enjoyed a turkey dinner, followed by Mince Tart, Christmas Pudding or Yule Log. Thank you to our kitchen staff for their hard work in making this possible â€“ 600 meals were served and enjoyed on the day!
T a l k
MI5 TALK WITH SIR JONATHAN EVANS
On Thursday 17th November, Mr Morrison took a bunch of budding young spies, including myself, to Bennett School, where we, along with a few other local schools, listened to a talk given by former head of MI5 Sir Jonathan Evans. The day began in controversial circumstances, when Mr Morrison revealed an email he had sent round to the staff to inform them of our absence had been blocked by the server and would not send. Clearly they were watching us … Sir Jonathan had been made head of MI5 just days before 9/11, but as well as having combated the threat of Al-Qaeda, he had also worked in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, and, in the early part of his career, faced off with the Russians in the Cold War. Unfortunately Mr Evans could not divulge too much information about his career (he voiced his disapproval of retired spies writing their memoirs).
Nonetheless, he was able to give us a captivating and informative talk about life ‘on Her Majesty’s secret service’. Sir Jonathan began by outlining the set-up of the intelligence services in the UK. He explained how MI5 dealt with domestic threats, whereas MI6 were involved with international
W I t h
espionage, and GCHQ focused on monitoring data; he wryly commented that hardly anyone had heard of GCHQ until a short while ago, when Edward Snowden’s revelations brought its name into the forefront of the mass media.
Perhaps one of the most interesting elements of his talk was learning about the struggle spies face with their domestic lives. Whilst dealing with a thoroughly demanding and stressful occupation, spooks can tell very few people about the true nature of their job. Sir Jonathan mentioned the difficulty in establishing trust in a relationship, when you are unable to reveal that you are a spy initially, and how his children only knew of their father’s true profession when in their teenage years. Most amusing of all, perhaps, was the admission that he wasn’t even aware that he was working at MI5 until he was a few days into the job, when he realised that the obscure branch of the Ministry of Defence he was supposedly recruited by didn’t actually exist.
Of course, things have changed now. Former and present heads of the intelligence services are public figures, rather than shadowy enigmas; they are more accountable to politicians, and the days of double-agents, ejector seats and dashing 007s seems to be drawing to a close. On the other hand, espionage has arguably become more complex and interesting than ever; threats are ever-changing and unpredictable, technology has transformed the capacity of the services, and there is a currently a recruiting drive on to attract young people into an expanding and dynamic workplace. Gone are the days when, as Sir Jonathan said, ‘Your Oxford tutor would tap you on the shoulder’ and the next thing you know, you’d receive a coded message with directions to an obscure location.
a Sir Jonathan described the difficulty of espionage in the modern world, in which it seems the moment new innovative methods and technologies are used, terrorist groups latch on to them, and new snares must be created. He cited the example of how a few years ago a listening device was developed that could be subtly hidden in cars, which were previously beyond the reaches of the intelligence services. However, the moment otherwise unknowable evidence gained from the bugs was used in court, terrorist groups realised what was going on, and have since sat in stony silence in their cars. At least we’ve ruined their car journey gossip though. At the end of his talk, Sir Jonathan Evans opened up the floor to questions, and the Bennett teachers directing the questioning invited several of their students to ask preprepared questions. In response, Sir Jonathan dealt well with questions about the difficulty concerning the balance between accountability and secrecy, explaining why Edward Snowden was wrong to leak the
information he did, and why (with sufficient safeguards) we have nothing to fear from surveillance. However, Skinners boys are not satisfied with staying silent when pressing issues are at hand, and at the first opportunity Barney BruceSmythe asked an interesting question about cooperation with other intelligence services, many of whom Sir Jonathan admitted were not always allies, and not always big human rights advocates. When Sir Jonathan mentioned the USA as a country that did ‘play by the rules’, I was compelled to ask a follow-up question, concerning that country’s use of waterboarding, and the inhumane practices carried out at Guantanamo Bay, and whether the UK could be said to be complicit in torture? Sir Jonathan made an impassioned response, insisting that he had not known about the use of waterboarding for a very long time, that he deplored torture, that Britain had never used torture (even in WWII)- a very impressive claimand that ultimately, working with the USA was necessary, and that
they did ‘play by the rules- just not our rules’. I felt a little patriotic pride that Britain had the moral high-ground over America (sorry Mr Morrison).
Unfortunately, I was unable to ask my second question, which was whether or not it was Sir Jonathan who was responsible for trying to recruit Mr Kelso, who, thankfully for all the philosophers and soldiers in Skinners, turned down the advances of MI5, but oh well. It was a very interesting morning, and it was enjoyable, when returning to school, to answer questions about our sudden departure from assembly and mysterious absence from lessons with, ‘If I told you, I’d have to kill you.’ Thankfully, I am yet to have been assassinated for daring to ask an edgy question, but remain on the look out for people sitting in cars with binoculars. By Callum Luckett U6L5
On Friday November 22nd two ex-Skinners’ pupils visited the school. Jonny Dauncey (front right) spoke to aspiring medics, and Dr. Ka Chung “KC” Lee (back right) gave a fascinating presentation to physics students about his PhD on Quantum Entrapment in Diamond, and its relevance to the developing world of quantum computing. He also answered questions about his research and about studying physics at Oxford. Over lunch Dr. Lee commented on how impressed he was with the quality of the questions asked by our boys. KC Lee is one of Skinners’ real success stories. He arrived here from Hong Kong in 2000 and joined Year 9 speaking no English. Four years later he was offered a place to read physics at Oxford. He was (and still is) a very talented pianist, and some members of staff may also remember his sense of humour. His audience in November certainly experienced it when he said one of his greatest achievements at Oxford was learning to talk to girls without embarrassment! Our thanks to Jonny and KC for giving their time so generously. Ruth Mead Head of Physics
DATES AHEAD MARCH Mar 2014
3 Year 11 report deadline
10 Progress Report deadline for Years 7 and 8
11 Junior Concert 7.30pm in Thomson Theatre
6 Year 9 parents’ and options evening 5-8pm 13
17 Year 13 report deadline
Week Year 13 History lecture A in London (DWC)
Year 12 Geography Field Trip to Devon 24 A2 Theatre Studies exam in Thomson Theatre – performance at 6pm
Year 12 Geography Field Trip to Devon
Year 12 Geography Field Trip to Devon
26 Yr 12 Oxbridge regional conference at Epsom (all day)
14 CCF Field Day (Seniors to stay overnight) Year 11 reports issued to parents Deadline for Year 9 GCSE option choices 20 21 Progress Reports for Years 7 and 8 issued to parents. PA Quiz Night with fish and Year 12 chip supper 7.30pm in Geography Field Dining Hall Year 12 Geography Field Trip to Devon Trip to Devon 27 Year 12 parents’ evening 5-8pm
28 Year 13 reports issued to parents
APRIL Apr 2014
Senior Concert 7.30pm in Thomson Theatre 8
21 Bank Holiday
22 Term 5 starts
PA Non uniform day
CCF Recruit camp to 27th April PA Junior Disco 7.309.30pm 2 May
26 CCF Recruit camp to 27th April
27 CCF Recruit camp return
Term 4 ends
Week A Easter break
PA Committee Meeting 7pm in CR 28
Year 11 Drama practical week.
AS-Level Physics practical week
AS-Level Physics practical week
1 May Year 13 photo 9am Junior Maths challenge (TS) AS Physics practical written exam
CCF Dartmoor 4/04/14 – 11/04/14 11 CCF Dartmoor trip returns
AS-Level Physics practical week PA Junior disco 7-9pm