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Summer 2020

In this issue... Head Master’s Welcome


For Starters


Higher Education Morning


University Offers


Pre-University Guide


Intermediate Maths Challenge


Geological Society Winners


Volcano Workshop


The Big MFL Cooking Challenge 10




Wells CARE Awards


Creative Arts


GCSE & A Level Art


Richard Long Inspired Artwork 16 Pre-Prep & Nursery


Bank Holiday Celebrations


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt


A Star Wars Odyssey


Here be Dragons


Junior School


A Snapshot from Lockdown


Tutankhamun Exhibition


Quiz Club National Finals


Year 4 Camping Trip


Trips & Visits


Year 6 Explore Sevington


Spring Adventure in Paris


Sport 28 Sophie Selected for England


Netball Masterclass


Badminton Winners


National Hockey Champs


Music 32

42 Editor: Katy Chantrey Design: Julia Thurling

Cover: Amelie camping with Muddy Puddles

Wells Cathedral School, Wells, Somerset BA5 2ST Tel: 01749 834200 http://wells.cathedral.school

Community Focus features

Event on the Lawn 2020


Let the River Run


Young Songwriter of the Year


Jersey Young Musician


Menuhin Violin Competition


Side By Side Brass Day


Happy with the Percussionists




Virtual Choir Anthem


People 44 Farewell


3 Head Master’s Welcome

Welcome from the Head Master When last I sat down to pen a few words of welcome for the last edition of In Touch I was certainly not expecting what was to come! As I write this now towards the end of the Trinity Term, we are three months into a global lockdown which has seen the physical closure of the School for the duration of the Whitsun and Trinity Terms (except for some key worker children and, more latterly, a few pupils from certain eligible year groups). It has been quite an extraordinary

But despite this, the creativity and endeavour of all our pupils and staff have shone through in abundance. This edition of In Touch demonstrates vividly, I believe, how vital and active the School community has been, even in lockdown. This edition covers the achievements and activities of pupils from before the lockdown (Epiphany and most of the Lent Terms) and during the lockdown (Whitsun and Trinity Terms). But as the reports that follow indicate, in many ways it is difficult to identify

time in the long history of the School, and in the lives of our pupils in particular. All our learning at the end of the Lent Term moved to a remote learning platform, and we have continued to teach remotely for the rest of the academic year.

that there’s been any change at all!

The need to close the School physically because of the global Covid-19 pandemic has been, of course, very unwelcome and very upsetting. Being separated physically from friends and colleagues for so long has been hard. And the inability to engage in so many of the activities and events we would ordinarily have taken for granted has been difficult for us all.

But this speaks volumes in itself! It is a testament to the commitment, encouragement and support of our teachers and staff. And it is a testament to the resilience, determination and sheer hard work of all our pupils. To have responded so positively and successfully to such an unprecedented and challenging situation testifies to the fact that creativity and endeavour in all their forms are alive and well at Wells Cathedral School!

In Touch Summer 2020


In Brief

Higher Education Morning The Higher Education Morning for the Lower Sixth in mid-June, provided pupils with invaluable information and advice about the next stages of their education, post Wells, whether applying to university, music college, taking a Gap year or seeking apprenticeships and employment. The School hosted talks from experienced and informative external speakers: The University Admissions Process, by Iwan Hopkins from the University of Cardiff Admissions team; Transition from School to University by Dr. Dom Thompson, a former GP and author of ‘How to Grow A Grown Up’; An Introduction to the International Admissions Process from David Hawkins; and A Conservatoire Applications Overview from Nicola Peacock at the Royal College of Music. In the afternoon, Head of Upper Sixth, Julia Bird, gave a relaxed and informal talk about the transition to Ritchie House.

“Thank you all for such an informative and relaxed Higher Education event this morning – loads of useful info, efficiently presented and a very warm welcome to the Upper Sixth for pupils.” - Lower Sixth parent

Lower Sixth Enrichment Interviews In February, 116 Lower Sixth pupils took part in 20 minute enrichment interviews aimed at providing key life experience and preparing them for the world of work. Preceded by a presentation to introduce pupils to the interview process, and supported by a comprehensive workbook, each pupil had 15 minutes to present why they would be an ideal candidate for a potential role, before being critiqued by a formal interviewer. 30 volunteers, including many Old Wellensians, from a wide range of business sectors including accountancy, HR, construction, management consultancy, the voluntary sector, retail and printing generously gave their time, spending the afternoon interviewing three or four pupils each, before contributing to a valuable post-session review. One of the interviewers said, “Every pupil I met was ready and prepared, took the process seriously and behaved in a manner that does the School great credit. I hope that every single one of them took away at least one thing from the process that they can work on.” Another added, “It was both a delight and privilege to be involved in such a great experience. The students we interviewed were very impressive.”

Frances awarded Bulkeley Evans HMC Scholarship Upper Sixth pupil, Frances Fraser, has been awarded a significant Bulkeley Evans HMC Scholarship to help fund her unpaid volunteering work in Northern Cambodia for the Project Trust during her forthcoming Gap year. Next January, Frances will travel to Cambodia to begin an eight month volunteering placement as a full time English Language teacher. Frances applied to a number of grant-making bodies who support volunteering projects for young people and the Bulkeley Evans HMC Scholarship Trust considered her long term project in a deprived country of sufficient merit to award a £800 financial scholarship to contribute towards her travel, living and daily expenses. Frances said, "I was delighted to hear I was to be awarded a scholarship; this

will make such a difference to the work I am able to carry out and I really encourage anyone keen to carry out a volunteering placement to apply for a supportive grant from this Trust.” On her return to the UK, Frances will begin studying Biological Sciences at Durham University. We wish her every success in her adventures post-Wells!

In Touch Summer 2020


Wells Upper Sixth pupils have received an abundance of offers to study a wide range of subjects from universities and music colleges across the UK over the last six months. Six Wellensians in total have received Oxbridge offers. Two have offers from the University of Cambridge: Gabrielle Desalbres from the 2019 cohort to read History at Trinity College, and Thomas Nettle to read Music at Robinson College. Four have offers from the University of Oxford: Rosa Bonnin to read Music at Trinity College, Jane Lee from the 2019 cohort to read Music at Jesus College, Hugo Spindler to read French at Oriel College and Megan Taylor to read Earth Sciences at St Anne’s College. Emma Greenshields has multiple offers to study Veterinary Science; while Alys Skinner has multiple offers to read Medicine. These University offers follow hot on the heels of Department for Education performance tables based on last summer’s A level results which show that Wells has been placed third in Somerset for adding value at A level. Within the independent sector this places Wells 61st nationally, ranking our value score in the top 10 percent of independent schools in England.

For pupils who have specialised in music whilst at Wells, as well as juggling their academic education, there have been further successes. Globally, pupils have received offers for The Norwegian Academy of Music and The Sibelius Academy, part of the University of the Arts Helsinki. In the UK, Wells musicians have received over 60 offers to continue with their instrumental studies at top Conservatoires, with many receiving significant scholarships, including: Charlotte Arthur (saxophone), Rosa Bonnin (violin), Janis Chan (violin), Howard Chiu (viola), Howard Lee (bassoon), Ella Leonard (oboe), Eliza Talman (trumpet), Hannah Williams (french horn) and Danni Woodnutt (trumpet). Deputy Director of Music, Alison Armstrong, said, “We are delighted that so many of our young musicians have received such exceptional offers to attend some of the best conservatoires in the world. After such hard work, they deserve every success for the future.” Head Master, Alastair Tighe, added, “We are so proud of both the academic and musical achievements of our Upper Sixth pupils. It is very heartening to see them collectively secure such an excellent range of offers, and this is testament to their hard work and effort, as well as that of their teachers.”

In Touch Summer 2020


5 For Starters

University and Music College Offers

In Brief

Senior School Careers Fair Senior School pupils from Years 10 to the Lower Sixth had the opportunity to take part in an evening Careers Fair in March - an excellent introduction to a wide ranging variety of careers and job opportunities. Old Wellensians, current parents and industry experts generously gave their time to provide targeted presentations on a range of subjects such as architecture, forensic psychology, law, the military and music journalism. In total there were 22 speakers who covered 18 different careers. Over 100 Wells pupils attended and benefited from the expertise on offer.

TED Talks Eight thought-provoking talks were performed at this year's Lower Sixth TED Talk evening in late February. The wide range of inspiring presentations included The Morality of Euthanasia, The Memes of Shrek, How to Tax Billionaires and Love is Not Just a Chemical Reaction.

Pre-University Guide for the Upper Sixth Committed to providing pupils with the best preparation for the transition to Higher Education and life beyond School, Head of Upper Sixth and Ritchie House, Julia Bird, and colleagues put together a fantastic Webinar Series for Upper Sixth pupils in the Trinity Term. These included academic lectures, workshops, advice on transitioning to Higher Education and links to useful online resources and MOOCs. Julia said, “In addition to providing some pupil enrichment, the webinar series provided a lovely way for the Old Wellensians to welcome the Upper Sixth into their community, giving them contacts and a ready-made support network as they move to life beyond school.” The Old Wellensian community were incredibly generous in offering their time and expertise for the "life skills" sessions and we are very grateful to them and the Parents’ Association for offering to act as panellists for these events.

“I would just like to say a huge thank you for organising these lectures. I just finished watching the ‘Life at University’ lecture which I enjoyed and learnt a lot.” - George Birkett, Upper Sixth pupil “Just a quick thank you for the live stream. I found it was really good and definitely helpful for uni.” - Nick Richards, Upper Sixth pupil “I am very pleased with the way in which the School has worked to nurture students’ minds remotely.” - Upper Sixth parent

Lower School Paramedic Visit In March, Upper Sixth pupil, Polly Palmer and Old Wellensian Ollie Zorab gave a First Aid and Careers-themed assembly to the Lower School. Polly gave an overview of her work volunteering with St John Ambulance, explained the variety of careers in health and primary care, and demonstrated how to manage two dining hall related scenarios: anaphylaxis and choking. Ollie, who left Wells in 2006, gave a talk about his career as an ambulance paramedic, before he joined the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Ollie completed his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award whilst at Wells, learning and applying first aid skills in the Black Mountains before going on to bigger adventures. He has also been the expedition medic on Operation Raleigh expeditions to Borneo and Nicaragua.

In Touch Summer 2020


7 For Starters

Wells Cathedral School Write Off The Great Wells Cathedral School Write Off was a success again this year, with a very high standard of entries from across all Senior School year groups. The panel had a difficult decision to make and would like to commend all those who submitted an entry for the competition. The prizes were awarded to the following pupils: Lower School: Joint winners, Woody Collins, Year 7 - The Knock and Megan Curl, Year 9 - Dimension 5.6 Upper School Winner: Oscar Howe, Lower Sixth - Triton Runner up: Tom Fox, Lower Sixth - Asbestos Man

Poetry By Heart Well done to Year 9 pupil Campbell Maddox and to Year 10 pupil Alexei James-Cudworth, who were the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 Somerset winners, respectively, in the county section of this year’s Poetry By Heart competition.

Runner Up at Mathematics Challenge 2020 In March a four-person Mathematics team consisting of Jason Kong and Ethan Turnbull in Year 10 and Rocket Brooks and Joel Sergeant in Year 11 took part in the Millfield School Team Mathematics Challenge. The teams participated in five rounds, which included a Speed Round, a Head to Head Round and a Relay. The evening drew 16 teams from across Somerset from both the independent and state sectors. The Wells team were close runners up, narrowly missing out on first place to a team from Sherborne School.

Intermediate Mathematics Challenge 2020 In February, 86 pupils from across Years 9, 10 and 11 sat this year’s Intermediate Mathematics Challenge, a 60 minute multiple choice test. The top ten percent of achievers are awarded Gold Certificates by the UK Mathematics Trust. Eight of our pupils achieved this standard: Jason Kong, Ethan Turnbull and Yuhan Zhang in Year 10; Rocket Brooks, Joshua Christensen, Imogen Moorsom, Joshua Ng and Joel Sergeant in Year 11. 19 pupils were awarded Silver Certificates; whilst 11 were awarded Bronze. Ten pupils were invited to take part in follow-on rounds.

In Touch Summer 2020


In Brief

Bristol Geography Association Three Lower Sixth geographers, Harry Chantrey, Oscar Duddy and Zara Merican, were accompanied by Rebecca Murdoch on a night-time Bristol Harbourside boat trip and Temple Quarter walking tour as part of the Bristol Geography Association Sixth Form Geography Conference in late January. The team subsequently took part in a competition to design the interior and exterior space for Temple Island in this key redeveloping sector of the City. Many thanks to Bristol Geography Association and UWE for their involvement.

Q&A Politics Session with Richard Bacon MP Sixth Form pupils studying Politics benefited from a fascinating question and answer session via remote video link with Richard Bacon MP at the end of May, providing invaluable insights into the workings of Parliament, the inside story of the premierships of Cameron, May and Johnson and the nature of post-Brexit politics.

Geological Society Section Winners Congratulations to the Wells Geology team who have been awarded the winner’s prize for their presentation on Cryovolcanoes and Ice Tectonics on Europa in the remote final of this year’s Geological Society Competition. This year, instead of going to London for the final, the teams submitted their poster, sent a video of them delivering their powerpoint presentation and completed a geological quiz online. Rather than awarding an overall prize this year, the Society awarded a winner for each section. Feedback from the judges was extremely positive: “This is a very professional presentation, and wouldn't be out of place in an undergraduate assignment. Very good delivery, and particularly impressive that some speakers did not use notes. The presentation contained a lot of good technical info and the speakers showed good understanding. Confident delivery.” The team members each received a year's free candidate fellowship to the Geological Society and there was a £100 prize to support Geology teaching at School. The team was led by Upper Sixth pupil Nicholas Richards, and included Ellie Ager, Humphrey Boot, Edward Harris, Megan Taylor and Isaac Wiessler.

Choc Cycles for Year 8 Scientists Pupils in Year 8 learned about rocks as part of their Science syllabus this term. In May, they went on walks to discover different examples of rock weathering close to their homes, created choc cycles - which demonstrate rock types made from chocolate - as well as designing excellent cartoons to summarise their learning.

In Touch Summer 2020


9 For Starters

Volcano workshop Dr Pete Rowley, Senior Lecturer at the University of the West of England, visited Wells at the end of February to run a series of workshops for Year 11 geographers and A level geologists. GCSE pupils were tasked with a crisis management exercise using volcano monitoring data. They reacted to the changing behaviour of the volcano by deciding when and where evacuations should take place and considering the consequences of their proposals. The A level groups analysed satellite images and cross sections of Anak Krakatoa volcano to determine how tsunami prediction models matched the first hand data on the eruption, which generated a tsunami which killed over 400 people in December 2018.

Aspiring Volcanologist Provides Insight for Pupils Upper Sixth Geology pupils were joined on Google Meet by aspiring volcanologist and Old Wellensian, Emily Bell, for their remote Geology lesson at the end of March. Emily, who left Wells in 2016 to study Geography and Geology at University, has until recently been working at the Colima Volcano Observatory in Mexico. Pupils were able to ask Emily questions and benefit from her personal experience of volcano monitoring and work studying the Volcan de Colima. They found out about seismic picking, rockfalls, the use of social media in communicating volcanic hazards and drone photography of lava flows.

Geohazards Student Conference Wells A level Geology and Geography pupils attended a Geohazards Students Conference at the University of Plymouth in early February as part of their academic enrichment and A level syllabus. Lectures included Communicating Geohazards and Disaster Risk by Professor Iain Stewart, Director of the Sustainable Earth Institute and BBC television presenter;

Hidden Hazards: Sinkholes by Chloe Sheppard-Muir, a Geo-Environmental engineer; Tsunamis: Past and

Present, from the UK to Japan by Dr Sarah Boulton, Associate Professor in Active Neotectonics; Volcanoes and Volcanic Hazards in the Eastern Caribbean by Dr Paul Cole, Associate Professor of Volcanology; and Designing for Geohazards by Dr Michael Whitworth, Principal Engineering Geologist, AECOM. The day proved a fantastic opportunity for pupils to experience a series of high quality and inspiring lectures from some of the top academics in their fields.

In Touch Summer 2020


The Big MFL Cooking Challenge During the fourth week of the Whitsun term, pupils studying Modern Languages went ‘off-piste’ with a creative teaching and learning challenge. The pupils were asked to devise a menu in the relevant language, then, as an additional challenge, to cook their chosen menu for their families. In the Junior School, pupils had the chance to bake delicious French desserts. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with delicious crêpes, madeleines, and chocolate gâteau au réfrigérateur prepared as particularly tasty treats! Lower School pupils put together a whole menu in the language or languages of their choice. There were excellent written language skills on display and the pupils cooked up a storm in the kitchen to the delight of their parents, who, for once, could relax and not think about what to prepare for supper! From the savoury - paella, omelette, soupe à l’oignons, boeuf bourguignon, enchiladas and croque monsieur - to the sweet - churros con canela y azucar and mousse au chocolat - pupils prepared and photographed stunning menus. There was even an extremely professional video made of pupils serving their parents in a 'French restaurant' in their garden, accompanied by French accordion playing! Jules Desmarchelier-Arpino, Director of Languages said, “We wanted to encourage pupils' independence, and get them away from their screens to be active and creative whilst using some of their language skills. In this lockdown situation, it is not always easy, but we have been bowled over by the way the great majority of our families have responded... and hopefully, pupils will now appreciate their parents cooking for them even more!”

Frittelle di Carnevale Italian Carnival Biscuits Year 9 pupils celebrated the Italian carnival season before the February half term break by baking delicious Frittelle di Carnevale, in the shape of hearts and teddy bears. Italian teacher Claudia Alabiso said, “The carnival biscuits were really tasty and pupils thoroughly enjoyed eating them - a fun way to celebrate St Valentine’s Day.”

In Touch Summer 2020


11 For Starters

Coral Oceans Experiments for Lower School Scientists Year 7 scientists have conducted experiments at home as part of their Coral Oceans project during lockdown. In addition to creating Ocean food webs and Ultimate Coral Species posters, for one experiment they used Secchi disks to measure water transparency, extracting excellent data, which they used to plot their resulting graphs.

Physics Olympiad Gold Awards Congratulations to three Lower Sixth pupils, François Cloete, Timothy Ho and Leo Li, who have achieved Gold Awards in the recent Physics Olympiad, Senior Challenge (the Lower Sixth paper). This puts them in the top 5.5% of Lower Sixth pupils nationally, who sat the paper. The Senior Physics Challenge, run by the British Physics Olympiad, provides an exciting opportunity for physicists to stretch their lateral thinking skills and apply fundamental physical principles to novel situations. The Challenge is a single, one-hour paper that provides an excellent tool to assess and challenge each student’s ability to work at Key Stage 5 and beyond. It consists of thought-provoking multiple choice questions followed by a short answers section that tests subject knowledge and application.

Year 10 Circular Motion Experiment Year 10 pupils have found interesting and creative ways to explore the phenomena of circular motion at home, whilst working on their GCSE Physics syllabus. From swinging buckets of water around their head to twirling headphones, they have explored the centripetal force and its effect on the world around them.

Year 7 Science Challenge Science pupils in Year 7 perfected their construction skills whilst learning about Forces in mid-March, when they designed 30x30cm square tin foil boats to carry large numbers of marbles. Sophie Jackson and Keziah Whitehead designed a boat that carried the whole jar of marbles - all 97 of them! Hugo Paton-Freeman and Mike Gillbanks' boat carried 57 marbles before it capsized. Forces in action!

In Touch Summer 2020


Wells CARE Awards At Wells, we live by our four core values of Creativity, Aspiration, Responsibility and Endeavour. During lockdown, many pupils have displayed all of these in abundance. Not only have they worked incredibly hard on their academic studies throughout this strange time of remote learning, but many also made the most of different opportunities to demonstrate creative and positive responses to the situation in which we all find ourselves. From cookery to composition, artwork to volunteering, Wells pupils have contributed to their local communities and developed a huge range of new skills. Their efforts have been inspiring!

In Touch Summer 2020


13 For Starters

Gardening Club Creates Orchard and Raised Vegetable Beds The Senior School Gardening Club, which usually gathers to work the land during Wednesday afternoon Activities, was busy throughout the Spring planting a beautiful orchard and creating a raised vegetable bed in grounds behind the Music School. They are hoping to be able to supply the school catering team with fresh fruit and vegetables in the Michaelmas term! In Touch Summer 2020


In Touch Summer 2020


15 Creative Arts

Senior Wells pupils have worked hard on their Artwork over the course of the last few months. Year 11 pupils designed a variety of work on the theme of ‘Event’; whilst Upper Sixth pupils created pieces on the theme of 'Change and Stability'.

In Touch Summer 2020


Creative Arts 16

Richard Long Inspired Artwork In the Trinity term, some of our Pre-Prep pupils learned about the artwork created by celebrated British artist and sculptor, Richard Long, CBE, RA, and adapted some of his artistic principles to work of their own during their time in lockdown. Richard, a Bristolian, is one the best-known British land artists. He is the only artist to have been short-listed four times for the Turner Prize. He was nominated in 1984, 1987 and 1988, and then won the award in 1989 for White Water Line. His work typically is made of earth, rock, mud, stone and other nature based materials. Several of his works have been based around walks that he has made, with the landscape deliberately changed in some way as a response to the environments he walked in. Richard heard about the Wells pupils studying his artwork and produced a special piece of Spring Line art to inspire them!

Richard Long’s Spring Line for Wells

In Touch Summer 2020


17 Pre-Prep & Nursery

Bank Holiday Celebrations for the Pre-Prep & Nursery Pre-Prep pupils thoroughly enjoyed homemade preparations for the Friday Bank Holiday celebration in May, designing beautiful flags, decorating their homes and gardens with bunting, and baking delicious cakes and scones. On the day some pupils dressed up in glamorous war-time costumes complete with elaborate 1940s hairstyles, and enjoyed afternoon tea in the garden with their families in the glorious holiday sunshine!

In Touch Summer 2020


Nursery and Pre-Prep pupils and their families enthusiastically embraced the varied and creative opportunities for learning that the many weeks of lockdown provided. Following lively weekly topic themes and supported learning from an energetic staff team, as well as taking inspiration from the changing seasons and outdoor spaces, the pupils have clearly made the most of their chance to develop new skills and interests!

We're going on a Bear Hunt...

One of this term’s themes was We're Going on a Bear Hunt, which inspired the construction of bear lairs, the creation of maps and artwork, bear fancy dress, teddy bears’ picnics and the opportunity to explore the great outdoors with the children’s very own personalised bear hunts!

19 Pre-Prep & Nursery

Other themes have included A Star Wars Odyssey, with pupils enjoying a cosmic learning experience which commenced with a celebration of Star Wars Day on May the Fourth; and the Butterfly Challenge where they learnt about the lifecycle of butterflies, and hatched little butterflies from chrysalises before setting them free in the sunshine.

Star Wars

In support of the NHS, pupils and their families embraced the creative theme of Rainbows with gusto, posting some glorious rainbows on window panes, designing beautiful artwork from paints, plasticine, flowers and magnets, and even sending in videos of children singing the rainbow song!

To tie in with St George’s Day, pupils centred their learning around dragons. Pupils designed their own crests and shields, created brightly coloured dragon masks and elaborate swords, used stencils for face painting and dressed up as knights to defend their toys. They also wrote adventurous dragon stories and crafted beautiful dragon artwork and Wanted posters.

With some members of the Nursery and Pre-Prep classes back in School after the halfterm break, but others still based at home, lessons continued in both the classroom and online. The theme Beyond the Seven Seas, provided all the children with an opportunity to learn about sea creatures, pirates and treasure maps! For those in School, the Pre-Prep building turned into an Octopod, with small groups of children and staff within safe ’bubbles’ to follow the new physical distancing rules. Whether based at home or back in the Wells classroom, it has proved an exciting and creative time for our youngest pupils, with many more adventures to come!

21 Pre-Prep & Nursery

Beyond the Seven Seas

Junior School Snapshot from Lockdown Despite the temporary closing of the School just before the Easter break as a result of the national lockdown, pupils from across the Junior School continued with a full virtual timetable of regular lessons until the end of the academic year. Projects and activities were put together by their enthusiastic teachers to be completed from home and these enterprises provided pupils with an opportunity for independence and adventure. Here is a small snapshot of some of them: Budding scientists in Year 6 set up Chemistry and Physics experiments to test the dissolution of different substances in water, and the impact of weight and load on bridges that they had constructed from paper and on spaghetti towers. They then recorded their results on Google Classroom and met virtually with Junior Head of Science, Karl Gibson, to discuss their findings. Karl said, “Although this is much easier to action and discuss in the classroom, using physical equipment, the children did an awesome job. It’s been a very successful learning experience for us all!” Pupils in Year 3 have focused on their Wells CARE Awards, with highlights including making delicious cream teas as a treat for elderly and vulnerable neighbours, creating willow fish sculptures as gifts for distant family, designing a Veggie Vaccine to boost health and wellbeing for the community, and bringing the story of Mary Anning, fossils and all, to life through a Lego stop-motion animation! In Year 4, pupils have learned about the Tudors in their History syllabus, creating menus and invitations to a Tudor Feast inspired by the Court of Henry VII, baking cheese fritters from a Tudor recipe, and designing beautiful Tudor artwork. Pupils in Year 5 designed interview questions for sport stars as part of their creative English sessions. Joshua Fairey received an inspiring response from British Badminton Champion and Olympic Bronze Medallist, Marcus Ellis! Finally, pupils in Years 5 and 6 were busy in the kitchen for a week during lockdown, baking tasty treats as part of their French lessons. Jules Desmarchelier-Arpino provided the classes with instructions in French for a variety of delicious traditional recipes and the pupils rose to the challenge, translating the French, designing menus and taking over the kitchen!

Chapeau! In Touch Summer 2020


23 Junior School

Tutankhamun Exhibition Pupils in Year 4 had a wonderful time exploring the Tutankhamun Exhibition in Dorchester as part of the History topic just before the February half term break. They learnt all about Tutankhamun’s life and the discovery of his tomb by Howard Carter in 1922. The pupils subsequently enjoyed making canopic jars inspired by their favourite animals from the Egyptian exhibition.

Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Poetry Festival Congratulations to Year 6 pupil Archie Blee whose poem The White Army was awarded a Highly Commended and a Schools’ Commendation at this year’s Shepton Mallet Snowdrop Poetry Festival.

Quiz Club National Science Finals Congratulations to members of the Junior School Science team who qualified for the National Finals of the Quiz Club’s Inter-School Championships, a Science championship for pupils in Years 5 and 6. With more than 400,000 Key Stage 2 children taking part each year, the Quiz Club National Championships is the largest Inter-School competition in the country. The Wells team qualified after scoring highly in the South West heat in November. Area heats ran nationwide, with each heat hosted by a professional Quizmaster. The National Finals comprise the top 100 highest scoring teams from across the country.

The Championships provide an exciting and challenging way to broaden pupils’ scientific knowledge whilst offering schools a unique platform to showcase the abilities of their most able scientists. It reinforces teamwork, boosts confidence, encourages strategic thinking and lights the fire for knowledge. The Finals, due to be held in June, will be postponed until the Autumn. The Wells Junior School team comprised Year 6 pupils Vera Kung and Thomas Parkman and Year 5 pupils Thomas Cowley and En Xuan Tan.

In Touch Summer 2020


Year 4 Camping Trip

In Touch Summer 2020


25 Junior School

At the end of May, pupils in Year 4 traditionally enjoy an overnight camping trip, joined by their teachers, in a beautiful location in Priddy. This opportunity provides a wonderful experience for independence, learning basic survival skills, and enormous fun. This year, far from missing out due to lockdown, Year 4 pupils have embraced the same challenges, with advice and support from their teachers, but in their own homes and gardens this time! Over the last few days before the May half term, pupils took part in camping and outdoor related activities, similar to what they would have experienced at Priddy. These included making outdoor art, treasure scavenger hunting and cooking picnic camping lunches and suppers. Stuart Elks recorded a 'how to put up a tent’ video for the group, and teachers linked the whole week’s educational theme to Beatrix Potter, an inspiring role model with her love of the outdoors and extraordinary animal and nature stories. During the week leading up to their camping adventure, pupils studied animals, wrote their own animal stories and designed miniature books ready for the big year-group google meet at 6pm on Thursday night. The glorious weather ensured a wonderful experience as pupils spent the day in the sunshine, crafting wind catchers, decorating rocks and using flowers, grass, sticks, bark and stones to create arresting natural artwork. A whole range of tasty treats were baked for the adventurers to enjoy - including cheese straws and cookies, while many made marshmallow kebabs to toast over their camp fires and BBQs.

Excited pupils had the most wonderful night in their tents under the stars, despite some wind and rain, and enjoyed what was for many, a first outdoor adventure. Many thanks to all the Year 4 families whose overwhelming support ensured an inspiring range of activities for the pupils to enjoy!

In Touch Summer 2020


Sevington History Trip Year 6 pupils enjoyed stepping back in time in February when they visited Sevington Victorian School in Grittleton. Pupils took on the role of Victorian working class children and experienced life in a village school. Authentic activities took place in the school room where the boys were taught the ‘Three Rs' and Science, while the girls were only allowed to take part in the handwriting and drawing sessions! Outside the school room, the boys made beeswax candles and learnt how to scare birds, while the girls took their place in the parlour and learnt how to use the housemaid’s box and make lavender bags. The last session of the day caused a stir as the ‘weapons of correction’ were discussed and then demonstrated on many willing volunteers! On returning to Wells, reports of the day were crafted in the form of a ‘Tripadvisor’ template and pupils had fun rating the trip out of 5.

Hamlet A Level Trip In mid-March, Sixth Form pupils studying English Literature attended a conference on Hamlet at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon. The conference included lectures from leading Shakespeare scholars, the chance to work on the play from a performance perspective as well as a visit to Shakespeare's birthplace. The conference presented an exciting opportunity for pupils to extend and enrich their understanding of a set text for their A level exams and, moreover, perhaps the greatest play ever written!

Year 7 Geography Trip to Glastonbury Year 7 geographers battled a brisk breeze on their annual field trip to Glastonbury. They completed a data collection exercise about environmental quality in the town centre, as well as a land use survey. Though too blustery on the top of Glastonbury Tor for pupils’ intended task of measuring slope angles, the anemometer came in handy to measure wind speed and there was much enthusiasm as the group matched the landscape they could see to OS maps and their own maps of Mid-Somerset. In Touch Summer 2020


Senior School pupils from Year 10 to the Upper Sixth enjoyed the School’s first four day trip to Paris in February, benefitting from a vast range of cultural experiences, morning French lessons, a funky new youth hostel and the opportunity to practice their French whilst exploring the beautiful city. Pupils enjoyed a packed itinerary of activities on top of their daily French lessons, visiting the magnificent Palace of Versailles and its glorious gardens, exploring the Cité des Sciences and the Planetarium, inspecting the gruesome 18th century catacombs, shopping on the world renowned Champs-Elysées, and experiencing world class art, including the famous Mona Lisa and Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa, at the Louvre. One evening the group finished the day with a lovely evening cruise by Bateaux-Mouches on the Seine, with spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower and the Palais. On another evening they ended their day's adventures with

a long and meandering walk past the shell of NotreDame and via the many hidden Parisian passageways of covered streets to Montmartre and stunning views from the Sacré-Coeur. On the final afternoon, threatened by French transport strikes, the group took the opportunity to shop and meander in the neighbourhood around the language school. This provided pupils with an excellent chance to enjoy crêpes and Viennese chocolate, and to buy plenty of delicious macaroons, some of which even made it back to the UK! Director of Languages, Julie Desmarchelier-Arpino, said, “It was a great first trip, and with very encouraging feedback from the pupils, this will hopefully become a regular trip for the School. Look out for the next one! A big thank you to Rob Murdoch for stepping in at the last minute and being a great support to us all!”

Creative Writing Trip to London A group of pupils from Years 10, 11 and the Lower Sixth spent two days in London in late February for a creative writing trip. In addition to two creative writing sessions at the City Academy, pupils enjoyed a guided walking tour of the City as well as an evening at the Duchess Theatre where they benefited from a fantastic performance of The Play that Goes Wrong. In Touch Summer 2020


27 Trips

Spring Adventure in Paris

In Brief

Sophie Selected for England! Congratulations to Year 9 cross country runner, Sophie Nicholls, who came in the top three out of 344 girls in the National Schools Cross Country Championships in Liverpool in March, and was subsequently selected for the England Junior Cross Country Team! Sophie, who was 13 at the time, ran in the U15 event, a year younger than her age group. Director of Sport, Tom Webley said, “This is a remarkable achievement for Sophie - competing against the best runners in England and juggling chorister commitments as well!” The National Schools Cross Country Championships, held at Sefton Park in Liverpool, featured six highly competitive races and represented the climax of the cross country calendar. Sophie’s success at National level follows on from wins at County and Regional level earlier in the season. Two other Wells runners who represented Somerset at the Championships, Upper Sixth pupils Matthew Howard and Ella Leonard, also both ran extremely well.

U19 Netball County Cup Runners Up Congratulations to the First Girls Netball team who were runners up in the U19 Somerset County Cup after a fantastic afternoon’s netball at Taunton Vale in mid-March, winning a shield for the trophy cabinet. The tournament comprised teams from all the schools across the county, with Wells beating teams from King’s Bruton, King’s College Taunton, Richard Huish College and Wellington School.

Netball Masterclass In early March, ex-England Netball Captain, Pamela Cookey, visited the School to give an inspiring netball masterclass to Wells netball players. Pamela, who made her senior debut for England against Australia in 2004, has won bronze medals for England at consecutive Commonwealth Games in 2006 and 2010, and won silver at the World Netball Series in 2010. In domestic netball, Pamela played with Team Bath in the Netball Superleague since the competition's inception in 2005, winning two titles in 2005–06 and 2008–09. She has also played in the Australasian ANZ Championship, after signing with New Zealand franchise, the Northern Mystics. The masterclass provided a fantastic opportunity for the young netballers to learn technique and skills from a master of the game. Pamela proved an energetic and motivating role model.

In Touch Summer 2020


29 Sport


U18 Somerset Badminton Champions

Congratulations to the U18 Girls Badminton Team, who were crowned Somerset Champions again, after winning the Somerset Schools League U18 Division 1, for the second time, at Queen’s College Taunton in March. They convincingly beat Wellington School, Queen’s College and Richard Huish College, gaining 34 points out of a possible 36. Well done to Year 11 pupil Natalie Leung, Lower Sixth pupils Serena Chung and Dora Wong and Upper Sixth pupil Samantha Chiu on their success.

Badminton Regional Champions Congratulations to the Key Stage 4 Boys Badminton team, who won the South West Regional Finals of the Badminton England National Schools Championship in February at Torbay Leisure Centre in Paignton, having been crowned Somerset Champions a few weeks previously. They beat The Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis, Dorset (4-1), Prior Park College in Bath, Avon (5-0) and Farmor's School Fairford, Gloucestershire (5-0) to win the Finals.

The team comprised Year 10 pupil Jason Kong, Year 11 pupils Kevin Luk and Joshua Ng, and Lower Sixth pupil Hani Chui. In Touch Summer 2020


Lily Wins Design Competition for Hockey Stick Congratulations to England hockey player, Lily Webb, currently in the Lower Sixth at Wells, who has won the Y1 Hockey brand’s competition to design the artwork for a limited edition hockey stick. Lily won the public vote, having been shortlisted for the final with her vibrant design!

Regional Performance Centre Selections Congratulations to Year 9 pupil Florence Gummer and Year 10 pupil Charles Rowley, who have both been selected for the West Region’s Hockey Performance Centre. Florence plays at U15 level at the Taunton centre, while Charles plays at U17 level at Bristol. The four clustercentres play against each other and then eventually feed into the Wessex Leopards Futures Cup squads. Other pupils have been selected for trials.

Mendip Area Primary Schools Quicksticks Hockey Festival In February, Wells welcomed primary school pupils from nine Mendip schools to take part in a mixed Quicksticks Hockey festival and competition. Director of Sport, Tom Webley, said, “Over 200 local pupils were involved in an amazing morning of hockey and loved the sessions! It was great to see our older pupils coaching and interacting with the younger pupils with such enthusiasm.” In Touch Summer 2020


31 Sport

National Hockey Tier 4 Champs Congratulations to the U18 Girls Hockey Team, who won the Investec Girls Schools Tier 4 Championship at the National Finals at Reading in early March! The National Finals, held at Reading Hockey Club, took the form of a round robin tournament. Wells were unbeaten during the tournament, scoring 23 goals and conceding none, beating Bancroft’s School in the Final.

U16 Boys Hockey Team Reach National Finals Congratulations to the U16 Boys Hockey team, current Somerset Champions, who played brilliantly in the Regional Finals of the Tier 3 category of the Notts Sport Boys Schools Championships in March, qualifying for the National Finals.

U14 Boys Somerset Hockey Tier 2 Champions

This means that this year, both the U14 Boys and Girls teams are Tier 2 County Champs! In Touch Summer 2020



In Touch Spring 2019

Congratulations to the U14 Boys Hockey team, who were crowned county champions of the Tier 2 category of the Notts Sport Boys Schools Championships, held at King’s Taunton in February. The boys beat teams from King's Bruton, Downside School, Queen's College Taunton, Wellington School as well as Millfield School’s B Team. They represented Somerset at the West Finals in mid-March.

In Brief

NYO's Ode to Joy In April, members of the National Youth Orchestra, including many Wells musicians, joined together to perform Beethoven’s classic Ode to Joy, from his Ninth Symphony, in a show of solidarity dedicated to everyone in need of a "musical pick-me-up". The musicians were joined by Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, who conducted from her home in the USA.

Thanks to the Friends of Music Very many thanks to the Friends of Music of Wells Cathedral School who have raised and generously donated over £6,200 for the purchase of 80 audience chairs and 30 musician chairs for the School’s Quilter Hall. The majority of the chairs are now installed and look wonderful in the beautiful Baroque Hall. They have already been much appreciated by pupils, staff and visitors to our concerts.

BBC Young Musician Finalists Congratulations to three Wells musicians and Old Wellensian Meggie Murphy, who all performed in the Category Finals of the BBC Young Musician Competition 2020. Year 11 recorder player Eliza Haskins competed in the Woodwind Category Final; Year 11 pianist Bridget Yee and Lower Sixth pianist Sejin Yoon both competed in the Keyboard Category Final; and trombonist Meggie Murphy, currently studying in her first year at the Royal Academy of Music, performed in the Brass Category Final. Held at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff in March, the Category Finals were filmed for a televised broadcast on BBC4 in May, which also included footage of the girls and some of their teachers at Wells.

24 Hour Challenge Raises Thousands! Throughout a Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday morning in April, Music staff at Wells completed a 120 mile 24 hour challenge to raise money for the charity Help Musicians UK. Every hour over a 24 hour period, 24 Wells staff each ran, walked, cycled or skated five miles, raising a total of over £4,000 (including Gift Aid) to date. Participants took hour-long shifts between 6am on Saturday 18th April and 6am on Sunday 19th April. Particular thanks to Jayne Obradovic, who set up and coordinated the whole event!

In Touch Summer 2020


33 Music

Event on the Lawn 2020 This year’s successful Event on the Lawn took place across the School site on a Saturday evening in March, a musical extravaganza which showcased the rock, pop and commercial musical talent at Wells. It was a fully pupil-led celebration, with proceeds from the ticket sales and food snacks going to the School’s Sierra Leone Project. Performers appeared in Cedars Hall as well as on the main stage, kindly provided by Old Wellensian, Michael Eavis, which was constructed outside Cedars House. Acts ranged from solo vocal and instrumental

performances to contemporary dance shows, jazz ensembles and even Mr Boot’s Band, made up of staff, Old Wellensians and parents! There was a delicious range of food available for purchase, including crêpes, burgers, candyfloss, Thai takeaway and falafels, as well as face painting, provided by local businesses. It was a fantastic evening’s entertainment, strongly supported by the School community, which raised over £5,000 for the Sierra Leone Project.

In Touch Summer 2020


In Brief

Wells SingerSongwriters Featured on BBC Radio Somerset During lockdown, Wells singer-songwriters have featured regularly on the BBC Somerset Upload slot on Thursday evenings.

Live-Streamed Popular & Commercial Music Concert At the end of May, the Popular & Commercial Music Department hosted a live-streamed concert on YouTube featuring talented young musicians performing a selection of original songs and covers. The young musicians took the decision to present the show completely live, with no backing tracks allowed, so pupils had to accompany themselves and perform ‘in the moment’. During lockdown, pupils have missed the opportunity to perform to a live audience so were delighted that so many people joined the concert remotely and gave encouraging comments in lieu of applause!

Year 9 singer Megan Curl’s compositions, including The BFF Song, Stranger and

Distanced, have all been played; while Lower Sixth singer-songwriter Harriet Perring was interviewed about her musical influences by presenter Charlie Taylor, before her country-inspired song, Heartbreak, which she recorded at home during lock-down, was played across the airwaves.

“Absolutely top class performance. Well done to everyone who was involved. It has inspired me to take up an instrument again after 30 plus years!”

Let the River Run Wells Cathedral School Choralia produced an inspiring virtual choir performance of Carly Simon's Let the River Run, in a fantastic arrangement by Craig Hella Johnson in early June. Thank you to Director Chris Finch for all his hard work pulling this together.

In Touch Summer 2020


35 Music

Hetta Reaches Young Songwriter Finals Huge congratulations to Year 11 singer-songwriter Hetta Falzon, whose song Obsession made it through to the top three songs shortlisted for the Finals of the Song Academy’s Young Songwriter of the Year, 13-18 year UK/Ireland category. This year’s competition attracted over 700 entries from aspiring young songwriters across the world, with a wide variety of genres, from folk to jazz, soul, rock, punk, reggae and pop. Hetta performed in a live Instagram event on Saturday 20th June and she has also been invited to perform in a live showcase session in November at The Tabernacle venue in Notting Hill, London with the other top three finalists. Hetta had three of her original songs shortlisted amongst the top 60 in the competition, selected from hundreds of entries across the UK. She is a member of the School’s Vocal department and the Commercial, Rock & Pop department, and is one of only two finalists to have more than one song selected. Woody Collins in Year 7 also had his song Vicar’s Close, inspired by his experience as one of the choristers at Wells Cathedral, shortlisted in the top 40 entries for the 8-12 age group category.

In Touch Summer 2020


Jersey Young Musician of the Year Congratulations to Upper Sixth saxophonist, Charlotte Arthur, who was crowned Jersey Young Musician of the Year following success in the annual competition in March, which included a performance in the Final at the Jersey Opera House. Charlotte was also awarded the Audience Choice Prize for her performance. Head of Instrumental & Vocal Coaching and Coordinator of Woodwind and Jazz Studies, Ed Leaker, said, “Competition was tough as standards were very high so this is a real achievement.” The PwC Jersey Young Musician of the Year Competition is part of Jersey Music Service’s provision of opportunities for young musicians in Jersey. It incorporates the well-established sectional competitions for String, Woodwind, Piano, Brass, Voice and Percussion.

24 Boehm Caprices Inspires Flautists At the start of June, 14 Wells flautists came together with their teachers Elizabeth Walker and Susie Hodder-Williams in a sponsored challenge to play all 24 Boehm Caprices in one session, which equates to approximately two hours of continuous playing! They played to raise money for Help Musicians UK, a charity that has been supporting musicians who have seen a significant loss of earnings at this time. Theobald Boehm's 24 Caprices are advanced studies aimed to improve technique and variety on the flute. Elizabeth Walker asked flute teachers, professionals and postgraduate students, including Philippa Davies from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama; Emily Beynon, principal flautist with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Holland; Katherine Bryan, principal of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; and Cameron Cullen, recently one of the Wells Graduate Music Assistants, and now at Yale University in America, to record a lesson for Wells pupils, one for each of the Caprices. These have been released, three a week, since March, and ”Our pupils helped to raise shared with Wells flautists. over £1,000 for the charity Help

Musicians and performed all 24 Caprices with skill and brilliance. Alyse wrote after the event “I was so impressed by your students, they’re truly amazing” and I couldn’t agree more!“ - Elizabeth Walker

Whilst this initiative was initially designed to encourage, connect and inspire pupils at Wells, the wider fluting community has embraced this idea with enthusiasm. Many eminent flautists, including Sarah Murphy, flautist and composer living in Northern Ireland and Alyse Faith, an inspiring postgraduate flautist at the RAM, currently living back in Australia, joined them for the session.

In Touch Summer 2020


Upper Sixth composer, Thomas Nettle, had one of his songs from last year’s Senior School Production of Private Peaceful, used to top and tail an interview with Private Peaceful author, Michael Morpurgo, for the podcast of this year’s Chiddingstone Literary Festival. Thomas’ composition was recorded by his family’s quartet for the podcast.

CSA Composition Competition Congratulations to Lower Sixth pupil François Cloete, who has been awarded one of the top two prizes in this year’s Choir Schools Association Composition Competition, for O Come Let Us Sing to the Lord. The competition was judged by composer and Musical Director of the Guildford Choral Society, Jonathan Willcocks. He said, “I thought that overall it was the highest standard of work that I have seen in recent years, and it is so encouraging to know that many of you are continuing the great tradition of composers who have over many centuries provided us with the music through which to express our music-making.”

Menuhin International Violin Competition Huge congratulations to Year 9 violinist, Dawid Kasprzak, who was selected as one of just 22 participants from a list of 152 applicants, into the Menuhin International Violin Competition Junior Section which was due to take place in Richmond, Virginia, in mid-May 2020. The Menuhin Competition is the world’s leading competition for young violinists, receiving entries from the top conservatoires and music schools around the world. The competitors are a truly international group, representing over 18 different nationalities. The competition is currently postponed until a later date.

In Touch Summer 2020


37 Music

Composition used in Interview with Michael Morpurgo

Trumpet Day 2020 The Wells Cathedral School Trumpet Day 2020, which took place in January, proved a success for over 30 young brass musicians. Led by Brass Coordinator Ross Brown, the day included sessions on natural trumpets, tips on making practice more fun, and breathing techniques, as well as a spectacular recital by Chris Avison, Principal Trumpet of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and a Vincent Bach Trumpet Artist. The finale concert, which rounded off an inspiring session concluded with a mass rendition of the Prelude from Te Deum by Charpentier, with over 40 musicians, including some of the eager parents! Our thanks to Vincent Bach for their support of Trumpet Day.

The Last Post for VE Day Commemorations Upper Sixth trumpeter Matthew Whitehead recorded the Last Post and Reveille, with a timed two minutes' silence in between, which was circulated to church members in Castle Cary and the community of Galhampton and surrounding villages to be played as part of the VE Day Commemorations on 8th May. Year 8 pupil Charlie Bellamy also played on VE Day.

French Horn Day In late January, long-standing Wells French horn teacher, Simon de Souza, and a trio of his former students who are talented professional musicians, led over 30 enthusiastic horn players of all ages and standards in an exciting day of horn-related activities. Simon was joined by Dave Oxley, Principal West End theatre player and Old Wellensian; Becca Holman, Old Wellensian and former GMA at Wells; and Andrew Budden, a regular guest principal with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Warm ups, masterclasses, recitals by the tutors and lots of ensemble playing culminated in a mass blow through Beethoven's Egmont Overture with every horn player in the building - a sound which tested the ancient fabric of Quilter Hall to its limits! Specialist horn makers Paxman had brought their display stand for the musicians to peruse; whilst the farthest traveled participant had trekked down from Fort William in the Scottish Highlands to take part! In Touch Summer 2020


39 Music

Side by Side Brass Day In March, Wells specialist brass musicians were joined for an afternoon of vibrant brass ensemble playing by talented brass instrumentalists from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama as well as young brass musicians from many local schools. The motivating session was led by Roger Argente, Head of Brass at the RWCMD, and a successful international bass trombonist. Roger has been Principal Bass Trombonist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for over 25 years, working with some of the finest conductors and soloists, and in some of the most prestigious concert halls and festivals across the world. He led an energetic afternoon of brass performance - an inspiring experience for the young musicians.

French Horn Masterclass In March, celebrated French horn player, Elspeth Dutch, gave an inspiring masterclass to Wells horn players in the Quilter Hall. Elspeth, who was taught by Wells French Horn teacher, Simon de Souza, is currently Principal Horn with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. She worked with all Wells horn players, as well as the School’s two horn ensembles, and presented a short recital to the brass musicians at lunchtime alongside Simon and Dominic Hansom.

ÂĄViva! Brass Wells brass and percussion musicians joined forces with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Brass Ensemble for an evening of exhilarating music for brass and percussion in Cedars Hall in March. Musicians presented a colourful exploration of over 300 years of music, from Handel's Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks, Rimsky-Korsakov's grand depiction of the Procession of the Nobles, Leonard Bernstein's soundtrack to the 1954 film On the Waterfront, a suite describing some of the non-human residents of Mexico, to some surprise items by, amongst others, Deep Purple. In Touch Summer 2020


Brass Virtual Concerts Brass musicians gave two fabulous virtual brass concerts at the end of May: a Lockdown Lunchtime and a Brass Teatime Treats concert. Performers, playing French horns, trombones, trumpets and tubas, ranged in age from 8 to 18, and took part from across the globe - from homes in Wells to London, Devon, Alderney and Hong Kong! Congratulations to all those who performed, and many thanks to Ross Brown and Tim Walker for organising and providing the technical expertise to allow these to take place!

Amos Miller Leads Courtois Trombone Event In March, Wells trombonists took part in a trombone day run by Amos Miller, Head of Brass at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, a founding member of Onyx Brass and previous Principal trombone of the Royal Ballet Sinfonia. Alongside young trombonists from across the region, Wells pupils enjoyed a day of ensemble and solo performance and advice in an inspiring masterclass led by Amos.

Carol Barratt Trophy Awarded to Sabrina Bibi Wins the Kingsfield Cup Congratulations to Year 9 pianist Bibi Redford, who won the Kingsfield Cup in the Piano category at the opening event of this year’s celebrated Taunton Festival of the Arts.

Congratulations to Lower Sixth pianist, Sabrina Morgan, who took part in the celebrated Bristol Festival of Music, Speech and Drama 2020 in March, winning The Carol Barratt Trophy. Sabrina performed in two keyboard classes in the 17 Years and Under section of the competition, winning the Post 1900 Piano Class, and coming second in the Pre 1900 Piano Class. She was awarded two distinctions by the section adjudicator.

In Touch Summer 2020


41 Music

Dave Smith and Fofoulah Inspire Wells Percussionists Wells percussionists took part in a collaboration with Old Wellensian Dave Smith and his energetic band Fofoulah at the start of the year in Cedars Hall. Dave Smith is one of the UK’s great drums pioneers, who plays with Robert Plant’s Sensational Space Shifters and Juju. With Fofoulah he matches African rhythms against a range of styles from rap to dance.

Described in The Guardian as, “A bravely adventurous fusion band”, Fofoulah includes talking-drums expert Kaw-Secka (sabar and tama talking-drums exponent) and Batch Gueye with his chanting African vocals.

Stay Happy with the Percussion Ensemble 30 Wells percussionists from Year 5 to the Upper Sixth, along with five percussion staff, created a joyous and uplifting collaborative rendition of Pharrell Williams’ much loved song Happy which went live on YouTube in early June. Smoothly coordinated by Jayne Obradovic; arranged by Toby Kearney; and produced and edited expertly by lead technician Tim Walker, the musicians submitted many audio and video clips that they had prepared and performed over the previous few weeks, to create a wonderful and inspiring film. The performances were recorded in China, England, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Wales.

The video was a gift from Jayne to the Upper Sixth Percussion leavers, and for us all to treasure!

National Star Recording In mid-May, National Youth Orchestra percussionists, Alfie Creber and Stan Talman, along with Co-ordinator of the Percussion Department, Jayne Obradovic, recorded videos for the National Star Charity project. The Charity worked on a special project, called the Percushion Wave, to connect everyone in lockdown. In Touch Summer 2020


In Touch Summer 2020


Just before Wells Cathedral closed for lockdown, the choristers sang one last time in the Nave, O Lord, Support Us.

Virtual Hymns 50 singers, made up of the Choristers and Vicars Choral of Wells Cathedral and some of their friends, sang a hymn for Easter Day, conducted by Jeremy Cole: Alleluia! Alleluia! Hearts to heaven and voices raise. All isolated in their homes, the choristers had to listen to a prerecorded accompaniment track whilst watching a video of Jeremy Cole conducting. They then recorded themselves and sent their videos back to him for editing. The melody, Lux Eoi, was written by Arthur Sullivan with words by Christopher Wordsworth. The descant was written especially for this virtual choir performance by Jeremy Cole.

Pancak Flippin e Wells g G

A second Wells Cathedral Virtual Choir video was released at the end of May to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost. The choristers sang Peter Hurford's beautiful Litany to the Holy Spirit, with words by Robert Herrick.

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Boy Ch orister n flipp s ing pa n cakes Shrov o n e Tues day!

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In Touch Summer 2020


43 Choristers

Virtual Choir Anthem

People 44

Susie Jameson

- A Wells Maths Legend

Paul Denegri

- A Musical Inspiration

With over 30 years teaching at Wells, Susie Jameson has dedicated an enormous amount to the School community. In her time at Wells she has taught Maths to a vast number of pupils, headed up the Maths and ICT Faculty, held the roles of boarding house Assistant

Paul arrived at Wells in 1986 as an energetic and creative young trumpeter to head up the School’s Brass, Jazz and Commercial Music department. A motivational and generous teacher, Paul has inspired and supported countless young musicians at Wells and across the

and Houseparent, and became Director of Specialist Maths in 2012.

South West throughout his 34 years as a much-loved member of the School community.

Susie has more than doubled the number of pupils taking Maths and Further Maths A level and created, alongside Professor John Berry, the Specialist Maths Scheme. A passionate advocate of Maths for all, she has also organised many enrichment activities including the Primary Maths Day and Maths Week and taken the Primary Maths Roadshow to many local schools.

Whether providing guidance to top Wells Brass musicians in the Finals of BBC Young Musician or encouraging Pre-Prep trumpeters to produce their first brass sound, Paul’s joyous enthusiasm for teaching and inspiring a love of music in young people is legendary. Amongst many achievements, Paul established the successful Rock & Pop Department, led tours across the globe and has been an inspiring conductor of the Symphony Orchestra, Big Band and Jazz Ensemble. A talented musician and composer, Paul also wrote the music and scripts for several 5-star rated productions that the Junior School performed at The Edinburgh Fringe and the Lower School performed in Wells.

Susie has embraced many elements of life at Wells as a member of the School Chapel and Chamber Choirs, and the first female Thurifer at Wells Cathedral. She has been a senior Maths examiner since 1993, a consultant for Ofqual, a trustee for the UKMT and has worked with the Mathematical Association. Susie is truly a giant in the world of Maths. We shall miss her and her enthusiasm for Maths hugely!

Paul’s boundless energy and enthusiasm for life is uplifting. Go well, Mr D - we shall miss you enormously!

Leavers As this academic year draws to a close we say goodbye to valued colleagues. We wish them all well for the future! Rachel Axton-Higgs, Key Stage 1 teacher Katherine Beale, General Music Assistant Samantha Brenchley, French and Spanish teacher Jenny Durmus, Foreign Language Assistant Georgina Hardy, Assistant Houseparent and GMA Peter Hartley, General Music Assistant

Charlotte Ingram, Early Years Educator Eleanor Knott, General Music Assistant Alexandra Norman, General Music Assistant Saffron Stockall, PE teacher (maternity cover) Charlotte Strange, Head of Psychology Gemma Wait, Head of RPE (maternity cover)

Births Congratulations to James Davis and his wife on the safe arrival of baby Jeevan; and to Jenna Rowland and her husband on the safe arrival of baby Ayla.

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In Touch With Wells Cathedral School