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RI V ERL IN E Wi s b ech Gra m m a r S ch o o l


Con tents Academic







Food & Nutrition






Trips & Visits






Speech Days

6th Form Leavers










Academic A word from the Headmaster Once again, this edition of Riverline reflects the passion and endeavour which pupils continue to show in the academic, dramatic, artistic, musical and sporting spheres. I also continue to be staggered by the opportunities to take part in other cultural pursuits, a growing outdoor education programme via the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and a plethora of extracurricular activities. As a result, we have continued to forge ahead with offering our own brand of all-round education. For me, the benefits are clear, and just one way it has been manifested is in our fantastic GCSE results in the summer of 2017 and, more recently, in our best A-Level results for some time last August.

An all-round education that inspires Wisbech Grammar School is a community populated by individuals who are instilled with a sense of purpose and passion. We are proud to be one of the oldest academically selective HMC and IAPS day schools in the country, and offer our pupils a most remarkable learning experience. Beneath the surface, key components explain why we continue to perform at the highest level, with consistently high pass rates and similar percentages of pupils going on to study at their first-choice university. Every year, we also send pupils to Oxbridge and medical, veterinary and dentistry schools, as well as to American Ivy League universities.

Education at W isbech Grammar School is a journey where each pupil learns to take responsibility for his or her own learning. We encourage pupils to be involved in all areas of the curriculum, and part of our success is undoubtedly due to the commitment of our incredibly talented staff.

Improvements have also been seen in Magdalene House, which is fitting, as last year saw the Prep School reach the ripe old age of 20. Can it really be two decades since a forward-thinking set of governors stepped in when St Audrey’s Prep School closed its doors? It is truly encouraging that we now have a waiting list for several Prep School classes, and numbers have grown beyond our expectations. The key to our success has always been the belief that future growth of the Senior School will be derived from our youngest learners on campus. Both sections of the School are very much in harmony, and the crossover of Senior and Prep School staff offering subject specialisation marks out our junior offering from the competition.

Inspired by this, we have completed a total refurbishment of the Reception class area and outside space. We’ve also opened a Kindergarten this September, enabling pupils from three years old to experience an all-round education that inspires. Older pupils haven’t missed out either, as we have had a new exemplar classroom installed in Prep 4. We will road test it thoroughly and, should it be a hit with pupils and staff, we will look to roll out more in the years to come.

T here is a ge n ui n e s e n s e of pu rpos e o n a l l fro n t s a nd it shows t h e p o s i t i v i t y of the d irec t i o n i n wh i c h Wisb ec h G ra m m a r S c h o o l is h ea d i n g .


Mr Chris S taley, Head ma ster

Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

Probably of greatest excitement to parents (and anyone who drops off and picks up pupils) is the completion of the new Jarvis Field car park after three years of planning. This new facility enables staff and parent parking to be separated, and allows parents to park at the front of the school and to feel welcome on site. When I first arrived here more than four years ago, I was very clearly told by a number of parents that ‘if you sort the parking you will have achieved a miracle’. We will wait and see.

Pupils across th e Sch ool are positively en couraged to discover and follow th eir passions. This h olistic education provides th e ideal foundation for fulfilling each child’s full potential. I would strongly en courage you to visit and m eet th e pupils th emselves, wh o exemplify th e range and diversity of talents at Wisbech Grammar Sch ool, and this will leave an indelible impression of what to expect wh en joining our Sch ool community. Mr C h r is Staley, Hea d ma st er



Academic Pupils at Wisbech Grammar School celebrate 99% A-Level pass rate Our students achieved the best results for a number of years, particularly in gaining the top grades, 57% of which were at A* to B and 31% were A* and A. This is significantly higher than the national average of 26.4%. Such grades will provide an excellent foundation for students’ university careers, with more than 75% of our pupils gaining entry to their first-choice university, another first for W isbech Grammar School. We are particularly proud of our Medical and Veterinary Science candidates this year. All four medics have achieved their offers, and Tarn Chamberlain James will take up her Veterinary Science place at Cambridge in October. She achieved 2 A* s in Biology and Chemistry and an A in Physics. Oliver Mann achieved 3 A* s in Biology, Chemistry and Maths and has gone to read Medicine at Newcastle University. This year group, like others before, contains a host of great academic stories from pupils that continue to showcase the success of the School and what its education can truly provide.

“ ” T h a nk y o u so muc h f o r e ve ry thing y o u have do n e fo r Ollie ; he truly h as rea c hed his ma ximum po te ntia l.

Mrs Ma nn ( pa re nt of Ol i v e r)


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Here are just some of the highlights. •

K aty Landles achieved 2 A*s English Literature and History and B in French and is off to Leeds to read History of Art.

E den Cooper achieved 2 A*s in Textiles and Biology and A in Chemistry and is off to Birmingham to read Medicine.

A nna Kober achieved 2 A*s in Biology and Chemistry and A in Maths and will study Medicine at Nottingham.

Z ara Jutsum achieved 2 As in Fine Art and Textiles and B in Graphics to read Graphic and Media Design at the University of the Arts London.

A rran Shipley achieved 3 As Biology, Chemistry and Economics and is off to read Business Management at Birmingham University.

R an Tai achieved 2 As in Fine Art and Textiles to read Graphic and Media Design at the University of the Arts London.

J ack Sidgwick achieved 3 As in Biology, Chemistry and Geography and will read Earth Sciences at St Andrews.

M axwell Eales achieved 2 As in Biology and Business Studies and B in Chemistry and is off to read Medicine at the University of Plymouth.

Katy Landles (King’s Lynn)

Achieved 2 A*s English Literature and History and B in French and has gone to Leeds to read History of Art.



High-achieving pupils at Wisbech Grammar School celebrate their GCSE results Our students celebrated another year of excellent GCSE results, with the year group achieving top grades in their examinations (A* to B or which is the same proportion as last year’s cohort. In addition, 91% of achieved 9 to 4 in both English and Maths, while the overall pass rate (that is, pupils achieving A* to C or 9 to 4).

50% of 9 to 6), pupils was 90%

This has been a gratifying year for GCSEs at Wisbech Grammar School considering the curriculum changes and the move to the more rigorous 9 to 1 grading system. Once again, we are well ahead of the national pass rates overall and at the top end. This is especially pleasing, given that many of our papers are the more challenging IGCSE qualification. I am incredibly pleased by pupils’ achievements, the dedication of the staff and last, but by no means least, the support of parents and guardians.

H  annah Lemmon achieved 9 in Physical Education, A* in Geography and 8s across the Sciences and Maths.

Molly Sears achieved 9 in Maths, A in French and 8s and 7s across the Sciences.

S  anket Goni achieved 9 in Extended Biology, A* in Geography and German and 8s across the other Sciences, Maths and English.

Harry Sayer achieved A in Geography and 8s across Maths and the three Sciences.

I sabella Oldershaw-Ellis achieved 9 in Physical Education, A in Geography and 7s in Maths and the three Sciences.

Eleanor Sloan achieved 9 in Drama, A in Spanish and 8 in English.

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I am really thrilled with my GCSE results. They reflect all of my hard work and determination and time spent studying with the support of the teachers at Wisbech Grammar School. My advice to others who will be taking their exams next year is to stay focused, work hard and ensure you have the support of your family and teachers. I am excited about my future as I will be studying Maths, Biolog y and Chemistry at A-Level. 5 t h Fo r m p u p i l , Jam e s Pear s o n , ach i e v ed e i g h t 9 s an d an A*

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Academic Tarn Chamberlain James celebrates an offer of a place at Cambridge University Upper 6th Form pupil, Tarn, had an offer to study Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge University even before achieving her impressive A-Level results of 2 A*s in Biolog y and Chemistry and A in Physics.

She showed real dedication to achieve her dream by working with her personal tutor Dr Alex Shillings. She has also been supported by Dr Stuart Miller, who oversees the whole UCAS process at W isbech Grammar School, specifically focusing on medicine and veterinary applications and guiding her through the process of applying to Cambridge University.

© National Trust Images/David Kirkham. Registered Charity Number 205846.

Tarn actually achieved offers to study Veterinary Medicine from all of the universities she applied to, including Cambridge, Bristol, Nottingham and Liverpool, but her first choice was always Cambridge.

North Brink, Wisbech Peckover offers a getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life - why not visit what's on your doorstep? The house tells the fascinating story of the Quaker banking family and the two-acre garden allows you to relax into this urban oasis.

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I’m absolutely delighted to have the chance to study Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge. It has been a dream of mine and I’m thrilled to be one step closer. Tarn Chamberlain Jam es

M r Chris Sta ley, Hea d ma st er

I a m i n c redi bl y prou d o f Ta rn’s a c hi evem en t. A n offer from C a m bri dge is ex cel l en t n ews bu t to h av e every m a jor veteri n a ry co l lege offeri n g her a pl a ce is si m pl y fa bu l ou s. It i s t esta m en t to Ta rn’s ha rd w o r k a n d dedi ca ti on , a s wel l a s the ou tsta n di n g Sc i en ce Depa rtm en t a n d repu ta ti on w e h ave for en a bl i n g ou r top s c i en ti sts to rea l i se thei r l i fel on g a m bi ti on s. Mr Chris Staley, Headmaster



Academic Enrichment Programme lecture series inspires, educates and motivates pupils Alastair Hignall CBE Broadcaster and former England international rugby and cricket player.

The Enrichment Programme brought over 30 speakers to the School, many of whom are leaders in their field. The aim of the lecture series is to push pupils out of their comfort zone and allow them to get an insight into a variety of experiences – and that has certainly been achieved this year. Speakers ranged from ex-England cricket and rugby international Alistair Hignall to Holocaust survivor Rudi Oppenheimer, along with lawyers, police officers, psychologists, physicists, mathematicians and gamers, amongst others, all at the top end of their field. The pupils were able to hear about real-life examples of leadership, both good and bad. For example, Master Chief Intelligence Officer Mike McKay from the US Navy challenged the pupils on their communication and leadership skills, before putting them through their paces with some NATO recruitment tasks. Detective Superintendent Ian Saunders delivered a talk entitled ‘An Extraordinary Career Working with Extraordinary People’. Group Captain Brian James shared lessons from his time as a fast-jet pilot with the RAF in both war and peace time. Broadcaster and former England international rugby and cricket player, Alastair Hignall CBE, gave a talk called ‘Controlling the Controllable’. He drew from experiences from his own life, including being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, giving the pupils advice on being the best that they could be.


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The School also welcomed Simon Rowe from the KLFM radio station. Simon told pupils about his career path of working in the media and radio and shared his experiences of when he had to show resilience, drive and determination. Also on the subject of determination, Loughborough University’s Dr Gemma W itcomb addressed a group about the challenging topic of gender stereotypes. Inspiring soundbites include ‘Honour your talent’, ‘Don’t die wondering’ and ‘There’s no such thing as can’t’. Patricia Duff talked about her archaeology work at Cambridge University and around the world, while Dr Richard Lissaman from the University of Warwick explored the links between maths and computer gaming. Ross Viner discussed developments in renewable energy and Dr Lisa Chamberlain James from Trilogy Writing and Consulting delivered a fascinating lecture on ‘bad science’ and ‘fake news’. Dr Mike Hart from Cambridge University talked about neurosurgery and his research into how different parts of the brain intercommunicate. His fascinating lecture also touched on imaging techniques and exciting advancements in 3D modelling designed to help surgeons carry out complicated surgical operations. Later in the year, Sir Keith Pearson, Chairman of the Health Education England, and his fellows Dr David Ox, Dr Tahreema Martin and Stephen Dougherty, spoke to the whole 5th and 6th Form about careers in the NHS and medicine, fielding questions relating to business and economics, advances in technology and the challenges and opportunities such advances provide. They completed the day by working with those pupils wishing to study in those areas.

H o l o ca u s t s u rv i v o r Ru di Oppe n h e i m e r

It was a priv ile ge for us t o we lcome Rudi Oppe n he i m e r t o our S ch ool and h is t e s t imony will re main a p ow e rf u l re minde r of t h e h orrors s o many e xpe rie nced. We are grate f u l to t h e Holocaus t Educat ional Trus t for coordinat ing the vi si t, an d we h ope t h at , by h earing Rudi’s t e s t imony, it will e n cou rage ou r pupils t o learn from t h e le ss ons of t h e Holocaus t an d m ake a pos it iv e diffe re nce in t h e ir own liv e s.

Mr A l e x L a y b ou rn e , De pu ty H ea d of 6 t h For m



Academic 6th Form Mock Trail

H ea ds o f S c h o o l 2 0 1 7

The Enrichment Programme finished the Michealmas Term with a bang as the 6th Form took part in a Mock Trial, commonly referred to as a MOOT; which is an assembly held for debate dating back to the Anglo-Saxon and medieval times.

Following a rigorous selection procedure, Tarn Chamberlain James and Oliver Mann were appointed Heads of School. They and their Deputies, Katy Landles and James Horsburgh, took on duties such as organising pupil events, leading tours, providing hospitality to guests, supporting staff and upholding the ethos and values of the School.

The MOOT was put together by legal expert W illiam Morris and was based on true events. The prosecution, Katy Landles and Remi Clarke and the defence, Ellie Papworth and Tom Collie, grilled two defendants and cross-examined a number of witnesses in a court run by the Headmaster, Mr Staley. After deliberations by the 12-person jury, the foreman of the court, Amy Everall, delivered a split verdict, with one defendant being found guilty and the other not guilty. The MOOT was finished as W illiam Morris explained the full story behind the events. This created an excellent link to the Enrichment Lecture by DSI Ian Saunders earlier in the year, who came and spoke about his career and experiences in the police force over the years.

Tarn and Oliver already played an important part in the wider life of the School. Both hold scholarship awards and studied the Sciences at A-Level. They were also involved in a range of activities relating to academic clubs and societies. Oliver played first team sports in all three terms and Tarn had a leading role in the extensive Language Leaders programme.

The Deputy Heads of School were equally outstanding role models. James is an exceptional musician and Katy is a budding politician with a real interest in the arts. As a quartet, they made a balanced team with interests and expertise in many fields.

M o ck t r i al

6th Form Biology lecture series at Cambridge University On Wednesday 8 November, 14 A-level Biologists went on a trip to Cambridge University to listen to a series of talks, related to their course.

The lectures took place in the Cambridge University Debating Chamber within the Union. The first talk was given by Lord Robert W inston who spoke to the pupils about fertility, the ethics involved and how opinions have changed over time. The second lecture was given by Professor Beverly Glover who is the Director of Cambridge University Botanic Garden. She gave an in-depth talk on the evolution and development of floral features which attract pollinating animals. Finally, Professor Steve Humphries spoke about heart disease, in particular, the genetics behind the condition FH (Familial Hypercholesterolemia). He discussed the mutations which have been discovered to cause this condition and how each of these mutations is treated. The experience was enjoyed by all and proved to be an excellent enrichment day for our A-level pupils. It also gave them valuable insight into what university lectures are like and a taste of the processes that occur in the field of scientific research.


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The pupils performed extremely well throughout the rigorous selection process. All displayed excellent interview skills and a wide understanding of the nature of leadership and the ethos of the School. They will be role models for all pupils in the School, a role they already fulfil magnificently and will act as an important communication link between the pupil body and the Senior School management. The School is very fortunate in having such a talented group of young people to help take it forward. Sen ior Deputy H ead, Mr T im Mc C on n ell-Wo o d




We are absolutely delighted with Phoenix’s success. She did really well and did the School proud! Mr s S ki nn er

Spelling Bee

The Hobbit: An unexpected discovery

On Wednesday 21 March, 1st Form pupils Patrick Calow and Phoenix Plowman-Blake travelled to Cambridge to represent the School in the regional finals of the foreign language Spelling Bee competition in French and German.

Pupils were introduced to the interdisciplinary nature of sciences including geolog y, geography, biolog y, chemistry and physics when they attended a workshop run by Mrs Fox and Mr Killick. The workshop was based around a world-renowned archaeological site called Liang Bua where, in 2003, human bones were discovered that belonged to a species of tiny human named Homo floresiensis or, more commonly, ‘ hobbit’ after Tolkien’s diminutive heroes.

The competition is a nerve-wracking event where pupils are asked to spell as many foreign words as possible using the French and German alphabets. Competition was stiff but our pupils, who had already beaten the rest of their year group in the heats ahead of the final, held their nerve and went into battle determined to win. Phoenix even managed to qualify for the national finals in June by ranking third overall in the regionals. Well done to both competitors, and to all who took part this year.

Pupils carried out a series of practical activities which included examining stratigraphy and sediments representing those at Liang Bua. They carried out rock analysis and streak tests, and also determined the relative hardness of the rocks using the Mohs scale and then calculated their density. They also identified the potential location of sand sediments by separation due to size.

The Poyser Groups

Pupils had an opportunity to learn about radiometric dating such as uranium-series dating, and were also introduced to palynology where they used microscopes to analyse the range of plant pollens present in sediment layers. The pupils then deduced what crops, vegetation or ground cover were likely to have been present when the sediment layer was deposited and constructed a stratigraphic pollen diagram (or profile) which allowed them to see changes through soil depth and time. On their return from morning break, pupils were asked to examine various animal bones and identify what animal they belonged to (zooarchaeology) as well lay out model human bones and show the correct articulation of a human skeleton. They then completed an archaeological field report for the skeleton and determined its age at death, size and sex (human osteology). The pupils were also introduced to human palaeopathology and examined photographs of human archaeological remains that showed how trauma, dietary deficiencies and diseases can be identified in human remains. Finally, the pupils applied all the skills they had learnt during the workshop to the finds of Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua. They were able to explain how geology and science helped to unlock the secrets of Homo floresiensis.

Wisbech Grammar School is fortunate in having a number of pupils of high academic calibre, who readily adapt to the School’s scholarly methods and pursue their studies enthusiastically. For these pupils, who are motivated far beyond a simple desire to achieve, the Poyser Groups attempt to foster a zeal for knowledge that propels pupils towards an interdisciplinary approach. We aim to nurture amongst our members an ethos that places the ‘life of the mind’ at the centre of individual development. While the Poyser Groups are unapologetically elitist, they are certainly not exclusive. In addition to those who hold a formal academic scholarship or exhibition, many members are ‘staff nominees’ – individuals whom staff believe will benefit from the activities of the Group. The programme followed by both the Senior and Junior groups is conceived to provide those pupils who are expected to be the academic leaders of the School with a far wider acquaintance with, and deeper understanding of, the realm of ideas in intellectual pursuits than the curriculum alone could be expected to provide. Through discussion, meetings and readings, pupils explore fine arts, literature, history, aesthetics, music


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and theatre, encountering great thinkers, artists and original writers throughout the ages. Both groups meet weekly and pupils are encouraged to take the lead in areas of serious discourse of their choosing. Now in its second year, the Senior Group has had a number of visiting lecturers who have presented their work on topics ranging from the impact of 3D printing on neurosurgery (Dr Mike Hart, Cambridge) to Pythagoreans in Greek society (Dr David Rizza, UEA). These are in addition to workshops on problem solving (‘Making toast – a wicked problem solving tool’), lateral thinking (‘Measuring bricks and escaping zombies’) and lectures delivered by staff, including ‘Epistemology – from Parmenides to Kripke’ and ‘Theories of leadership’. This year, the Junior Group had a hands-on introduction to archaeology, with ‘The Hobbit, an unexpected discovery’ and the Senior Group will be taking part in a retreat to North Walsingham in the Lent Term for a weekend of reading and discussion (no mobile phones allowed).



Academic Cranmer Awards success for Eleanor Sloan

Wisbech Grammar pupils praised for Maths Challenge success Wisbech Grammar School pupils excelled in the 2018 Intermediate Maths Challenge with three pupils obtaining gold, nine receiving silver and 13 receiving bronze certificates. Best in School went to 5th Former James Pearson. The best 4th Form pupil was James Lawson and the best performance in 3rd Form was Nestor Bausbacher. All three obtained gold certificates. Another excellent performance was from 1st Form pupil Zach Mortlock who obtained a silver certificate. The competition is organised by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust, which is based at the University of Leeds.

These were excellent performances and will inspire pupils to consider studying Mathematics in the 6th Form and beyond.


Mr G e off How e s , Hea d of Ma t hs

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Congratulations to 5th Former Eleanor Sloan for becoming one of 12 senior finalists, from over 300 entrants, at the 29th Prayer Book Society ’s Cranmer Awards on Saturday 24 February in Worcester. Eleanor was representing the Norwich Diocese but others travelled from all over England including Sodor and Man (covering the Isle of Man), Newcastle, W inchester and London. In the Old Bishop’s Palace in Worcester, the candidates recited their chosen extracts from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer to a warm and informed audience. The panel of judges for both the Junior and Senior section assessed each speaker for accuracy, intelligent communication of meaning, fluency of style that captured Cranmer’s rhythms, and the effective use of pause and pace so that ‘the words could speak for themselves’. Quentin Letts, broadcaster and journalist, presented the prizes and in his passionate address encouraged all ‘Comrades in Cranmer’ to champion ‘the small and powerful gift’ by which Thomas Cranmer sought to ‘raise us in intellectual ambition’ by creating ‘the deep well of philosophy and poetry’ accessible in the Book of Common Prayer. Mr Letts also praised the finalists for their ‘chiselled out consonants’ and felt positively encouraged that the future is bright given that they presented themselves better than ‘our current spluttering, stuttering national leaders’.

Prep 6 pupils fly high with the Vrettos Award In the final week of term, 11 Prep 6 pupils were presented with certificates for completing the Vrettos Award scheme. The scheme gave them an opportunity to extend their learning experiences beyond the expectations of the National Curriculum and the pupils carried out independent learning by using a wide range of secondary sources of information and completed a series of tasks over several months. These tasks included designing a classification key to identify different species of turacos, two short research activities about adaptations of turacos and the threat to hornbills, a research project on an animal from the Philippines or Guyana, and a task designing a zoo enclosure to meet the needs of the animal, the keeper and public. The award commemorates Dennis Vrettos, who spent most of his life working in animal collections, especially with birds, and dedicated much time to the study of hornbills and turacos. He took part in many expeditions to view wildlife, but his travels to Guyana and the Philippines made the biggest impact on him. In 2017, he died after a long battle with a lung condition caused by his close contact with birds. He would have been delighted to know that his example is still encouraging young people to study the natural environment.

The standard of work was very high and the judges (Alan Pringle of Port Lympne Reserve and Mike Downman of Newquay Zoo) were extremely impressed. They highly commended Dillany Jeyakumar, Emma Markillie, Thomas Birch and Annabel Gee and congratulated James Bateman, Zach Peggs, John Lawrence, Horatio Exeter, Olexandra Klibanecz, Cameron Allflatt and Jules Jamieson. These pupils were presented with their certificates by Mr Staley and Mrs Neaves. The judges then had the difficult task of choosing the pupil who had completed the highest standard of work overall. The Vrettos Prize, a large and heavy book on animals and a gift voucher, was kindly funded by the International Turaco Society and presented to Emma Markillie in Final Assembly.

I am delighted with the work that the pupils have produced. This work has been on display boards in the Science Department and has created a lot of interest from the older pupils. M rs Fo x



Houses at Wisbech Grammar School – Holmes, Sparks, Peckover & Clarkson The House system at Wisbech Grammar is an integral part of the daily life at the School. The four Houses – Clarkson, Holmes, Peckover and Sparks – are named after important characters in the town’s or school’s rich history. Meeting weekly, the Houses provide the opportunity for pupils to interact with other year groups, engage in the many inter-House competitions, raise money for charities and develop key skills for later life, such as leadership. The four Houses lock horns in various competitions, ranging from music through to cookery and, of course, sport, for the House Trophy. The Merit Shield, awarded at the end of the academic year, recognises achievements in the classroom, via the grade card system, where grades are magically converted into points and points mean prizes.



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Finally, the Congo Cup is awarded as the culmination of congregational singing assemblies held throughout the year. Here, the enthusiasm and melodic efforts of the whole House are rewarded. The House system offers something for everyone, providing friendly competition across a range of subjects; as well as a forum in which relationships can be fostered, providing a key learning experience for all pupils.


130 Wisbech Road, Outwell, Wisbech, Cambs, PE14 8PF Tel: 01945 772578 Email: enquiries@bloomandwake.co.uk www.bloomandwake.co.uk

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Holm es




Houses Peckover

Holmes House winner of the House Music Competition 2018 On Thursday 22 February, our House Music Competition took place, following weeks of intense preparation all four houses were primed and ready to do battle in this annual event. The competition started in the afternoon when the Lower and Intermediate Soloists were to perform in front of the rest of the School. The Lower school soloists kicked the competition off with four very competent performances. George Ayling (Piano), Charley Kirby (Voice), Phoenix PlowmanBlake (Piano) and Andrew Mai (Piano) all performed well, however it was decided by the judging panel that Charley (Holmes House) with a beautiful rendition of ‘I am not that Girl’ (Schwarz) was to take first place.


In the Intermediate Competition the audience enjoyed performances from Benjamin Eden (Voice), Natasha Richardson (voice/guitar), Lara-Grace Mount (Voice) and Beatrice W inder (Piano). The musical talent on display was once again impressive. The winner in this section was Natasha (Holmes House) who played and sang her own composition named ‘Songwriters Dream’. The second part of the competition took part in the evening with the Russell Hall packed with parent and the majority of the pupils. Opening the bill in the evening were the performers in the Senior Solo Competition. Matilda Suiter (Voice), James Horsburgh (Saxophone), Abigail McGlone (Flute) and Charlotte White (Voice), all performed four very different pieces, giving the adjudicators a difficult decision. Abigail (Peckover) was named as the winner following her striking and challenging study of Koehler.

The final event of the evening saw each house fill the stage with choirs numbering in excess of 60 pupils.


The theme for this year’s house song was ‘movie sound tracks’, and under the guidance of the House Music captains each house performed their number showing a great deal of passion, which combined with the vivid house colours worn by the choirs provided a fitting climax to the performances for the evening. The performance of Clarkson singing ‘How far I’ll go’ from the film Moana was ranked first.

The ‘Most Promising Musician’ was awarded to Beatrice W inder of Sparks.

Finally, Holmes were crowned as the Overall House Music Winners for 2018. This drew to a close a very enjoyable and entertaining competition.

Mr s Jan e Missin , H ead of Music

Holm es

Next the House Ensembles took to the stage, consisting of members from the three age groups, each ensemble is entirely driven and organised by the pupils. Yet again there were four very different performances and styles for the judges to consider. After a lengthy discussion the judges decided the winners to be Holmes who performed their version of ‘My Type’ (Saint Motel).


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House tug of war 2017 The annual House Tug of War competition was held in midSeptember. The four Houses fielded mixed team of pupils from the 5th and 6th Forms to do battle in a bestof-three round-robin competition. Cheered on by the rest of the School, including several classes from Magdalene House, the competition and effort displayed was immense, with numerous blood vessels straining in the name of House sport. The eventual winners were once again Clarkson who, in retaining their crown, won all three bouts efficiently. The event once again proved a fitting way to kick off the House calendar.

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1st and 2nd Form House activity day On Friday 8 June, at the end of a long week of exams, all pupils in the 1st and 2nd Form were given the opportunity to try something a little different. The four Houses; Clarkson, Holmes, Peckover and Sparks took on several challenges which required pupils to work as a team to win points. In the tower and bridge-building activity, pupils had to build the tallest tower and longest bridge they could with a limited amount of paper, thread and sticky tape. Under the watchful eye of Mr Harrison, each House had to work out the best way to engineer their structure, in order to take first place. In Mr Rodriguez’s photo orienteering challenge, pupils had to decipher where to go on the School grounds to find a clue, deducing where it was from a close-up photograph, and get there as quickly as they could to find a letter. After finding all eight letters, they had to be the first team to work out the anagram. In the three sessions of this activity, Sparks took two wins and Peckover one.


I would like to thank all the pupils for taking part with so much enthusiasm and the staff who organised and help run the activities.

M rs G oodi e r

The third and, arguably, most popular activity was the team challenge set by Mr Garfoot. Pupils had to work together to walk with long planks of wood on their feet and pass each other through a raised hoop. Most of them got a little wetter than expected when they had to get a ball from the bottom of their pipe by filling it with water to make the ball float to the top. However, the pipe was full of holes, as were the buckets they used to carry the water.

The finale of the day was the tug of war. Every pupil took part for their House, using as much strength as they could to beat their opposition. It was Clarkson who were unbeatable – clearly the other three Houses need to work on their strength! At the end of an enjoyable day, which tested ingenuity, leadership, teamwork and ability to think outside the box, the final results were:

Joint 1st place: Sparks and Clarkson 3rd place: Peckover 4th place: Holmes


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2019 6th - 23rd April

Easter Funyard Feed the Spring Lambs Grand Easter Egg Hunt

2018 Santa's Grotto Open 24th & 25th Nov, the first three weekends in December plus 20th - 24th December

13th July - 3rd Sept plus weekends in Sept

Late-Night Opening 7th December

12019 / 2 Page A d v e r t


18th - 2


Februar y 10am-2p



Skylark Maize Maze & Funyard including Pick Your Own Pumpkins 19th - 27th October Halloween themed maze & games

Fireworks To Music Spectacular 2nd November

Music & Fireworks Choreographed by the World Famous Kimbolton Fireworks plus Giant Funfair Skylark Garden Centre, Manea Rd, Wimblington, March, Cambs, PE15 0PE. Tel: 01354 741212

House athletics 2018 As always for both Prep and Senior School pupils, House Athletics was the main event of the Trinity term. With the final points of the year up for grabs, pupils ran, jumped and threw with all their skill and efforts. House Athletics highlights those pupils who are willing to have a go and do anything for their house! In Magdalene House, the Prep 3 and 4 competition was won jointly by Sparks and Clarkson and the Prep 5 and 6 event by Peckover. Overall, this meant Sparks came out as winners, followed by Clarkson, Holmes and then Peckover. The Prep 4 Victor Ludorum was won by Oliver Beck and the Victrix Ludorum was won by Francesca Pittman. The Prep 6 Victor Ludorum was won by Jules Jamieson and the Victrix Ludorum was won by Olexandra Klibanecz.

Overall the winning house was Clarkson, runners up were Sparks, Peckover came third and Holmes fourth. The Junior Victrix Ludorum was awarded to Alana Pritchard (winner of the Hurdles, Javelin and Triple Jump) and the Junior Victor Ludorum was awarded to Oliver Taylor (winner of the 800m, 1500m and Triple Jump). The Intermediate Victrix Ludorum was awarded jointly to Charlotte Mair and Isabella Pope (who won 3 events each) and the Intermediate Victor Ludorum was awarded to Lewis Shipley (winner of the Triple Jump, 100m and 800m). The Senior Victrix Ludorum was awarded to Lucy Lim (winner of the 100m and Triple Jump) and the Senior Victor Ludorum was awarded to Jack Trundley (winner of the Triple Jump, 200m and 800m). New school records were set by Freddie Allen (4.75m in the Long Jump), Isabella Pope (24.66m in the Javelin), Charlotte Mair (12.6 seconds in Hurdles) and Lewis Shipley (11.45m in Triple Jump).

Jules set a new 300m record and Olexandra set two records, in the 300m and the Discus. In the Senior School Competition for pupils are split into 3 groups; Junior – 1st and 2nd form, Intermediates – 3rd and 4th form and Senior – 5th and 6th form. The pupils thrilled us with some amazing athletic displays and competition was fierce. In the Junior Competition Clarkson, were declared winners, followed by Holmes in second, Peckover in third and Sparks in fourth position. In the Intermediate Competition, Sparks were the winners, Peckover came second, Holmes in third and Clarkson in fourth position. The Senior Competition saw Clarkson coming first, Peckover second, Holmes third and Sparks in fourth position.

“ ” As always, the pupils participated with enthusiasm and great sportsmanship for their Houses

Mr s Sally Web b, H ead of Ath letic s


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C o- Curricular C o-curricul ar In t rod uc t ion

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme

Our A im, t hroug h CoCurricular Act ivit ies , is t o ens ure t hat all pupils hav e t he opport unit y t o part icipat e in a meaning ful manner, in t he wider life of t he s chool and communit y for t he furt herance of t heir all- round educat ion.

D r Kev in Ma n n , A ss is ta n t H ea d of C o-c u rric u la r

Our educational philosophy is rooted in an understanding that each pupil has different strengths and distinct qualities. Rugby, hockey, netball, cricket, cycling, tennis, jogging, archery, strength and conditioning and athletics all form part of our sports offering. For pupils who want to pursue sport at a professional level, the School offers Development Player Pathways with Northampton Saints Rugby and Northampton County Cricket Club, and works with local sports clubs such as the W isbech Rookies Netball Club. We also have an Elite Sports Programme, giving talented pupils the opportunity for expert individual coaching in their chosen fields.

Co-curricular clubs We offer as many options as possible for pupils to enjoy an extensive array of clubs as part of their timetabled curriculum. This encourages our pupils to develop their passions and discover new ones, building confidence and extending friendships, which ultimately supports the allround education offered at W isbech Grammar School. From Shakespeare to steel band, archaeology and astronomy, biology, book club, philosophy to politics, Young Enterprise to Young Engineers, Warhammer to wind band.


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Performing Arts is an extremely popular element of our extended curriculum and many of our pupils take advantage of the variety of School productions and stage performances. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was a huge success and played to a nightly full house at the Angles Theatre in W isbech. Our Dance Studio offers pupils access to top-level coaching from visiting dance companies. The Music Department also plays a prominent role, with orchestras, choirs, steel bands, bespoke instrument tuition and performances throughout the year showcasing the multitude of musical talents within the School.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme (DofE) is well into its sixth decade and is considered to be the most important activity undertaken at School beyond gaining formal qualifications. Award holders, particularly those who achieve Gold, are considered to be well-rounded young people equipped with the skills and behaviours to embrace opportunities given to them. These are, of course, valuable assets in the eyes of potential employers and university admissions staff. We are proud to offer all three levels of the Award – Bronze, Silver and Gold. The journey starts in the 3rd Form with the Bronze Award, through the 4th Form with the Silver Award, culminating in the Gold Award for those aged over 16. Pupils undertake a wide range of activities, often following their personal interests to fulfil

the four sections of the Award – Volunteering, Physical, Skill and Expedition. Many opt to undertake activities on offer from the School’s extensive extracurricular programme. There is a fifth, Residential, section for the Gold Award. The expedition sections are completed in the summer, with each Award completing a practice and a qualifying (or assessed) expedition. The Bronze group undertake their two-day, one-night expedition in the East Anglian countryside. The Silver group undertake their slightly longer three-day, two-night expedition in the Peak District. The Gold group spend four days and three nights in the Yorkshire Dales for the practice expedition, and then either the Lake District or a foreign destination for their expedition, such as Chamonix, Slovenia or, most recently, the French Pyrenees. The School encourages all 3rd Form pupils to enter the scheme at Bronze level, and healthy numbers of pupils enter the two higher awards.

DofE Gold Award holders get the royal treatment at Buckingham Palace As the climax of a long and committed period of time, seven past and present pupils received their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold certificates in the gardens of Buckingham Palace. The Award holders were split into small regional groups, where the Earl of Wessex, HRH Prince Edward, spent some time with each group learning about their experiences while completing the Gold Award. The group then heard from Darren Grigas from Peterborough, an adventure athlete who has completed several extreme challenges and an ultra-marathon in aid of charity, before he presented the group their certificates. Baked in glorious sunshine, the royal garden looked splendid and was a fitting venue to mark such a fantastic achievement. Our congratulations go to all of the Gold Award holders.

Back row - Alexander Bly - Henry Lankfer - James Horsburgh Cameron Brown - Mr Garfoot (Head of Outdoor Learning) Front row - Kevin Gunasekara - Oliver Mann - Eden Cooper



C o- Curricular Going for gold with an Alpine challenge While other members of the School community were enjoying the first week of their summer break, 16 pupil s embarked on their Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award Assessed Expedition in the French Pyrenees. After taking an early morning flight from Stansted to Lourdes, a short coach transfer took us into the Pyrenees National Park and to our base near the village of Gavarnie. Our accommodation was an Alpine refuge on the slopes of some imposing mountains. While very basic, it provided the ideal location and we were able to relax and prepare for the acclimatisation walk the next day. Day 2 was warm and sunny, but a cooling breeze and the shade of woodland made the walk more bearable. Our route took in the Cirque de Gavarnie, a bowl carved into the 3,000m-high peaks, with numerous waterfalls, the tallest falling over 400m – physical geography at its most impressive. Day 3 saw the expedition begin in earnest, with a relatively short route in terms of distance but a climb of 1,000m over a ridge at 2,400m was certainly testing. Throw into the mix a low cloud base and electrical storms and this was interesting Alpine trekking. Most of the group were pleased to enjoy the showers at the campsite that evening. Thankfully, the next day did not include as much climbing but was much longer, passing through many Alpine meadows with an abundance of wildlife. Once the climbing was complete in the first half of the day, the route contoured along a valley to the Barrage d’Ossoue. That evening, we were truly immersed in the Alpine culture; a first experience of wild camping for some, with no toilets or shower, just a nice chilly waterfall and stream in which to freshen up! Unfortunately, the weather was not so welcoming, low cloud and drizzle prevented us from enjoying the scenery. The next day was altered due to some dangerous sections which would have required the group to cross extensive snow patches. Instead, we contoured out of the valley with the picturesque village of Gavarnie below us before reaching our campsite, this time with full amenities. The weather was warm and sunny with a cool, refreshing breeze, allowing us to enjoy the imposing scenery from every direction. This was a relatively easy day ahead of the final push. Motivation was high on the final day, with breakfast eaten and tents packed in record time. All were keen to finish the route, which, following a steep climb, took us down the valley to the village of Gèdre. The weather was variable, with bouts of glorious sunshine mixed with showers and low clouds, but the gaps in the cloud revealed stunning views of the valley below.


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Finally, after a tough four days, the end in the village square of Gèdre was a welcome sight, with a distinct feeling of relief and elation that the expedition was complete. Many enjoyed a quick snack in the local café before making our way back to the refuge. The rest and relaxation day followed and, once the group equipment had been serviced and put away, we walked down the hill from the refuge to meet two French guides with cars full of wetsuits. After putting them on at the roadside and a quick safety briefing, we were led to the edge of a river gorge and lowered by a rope into the icy waters below. This was canyoning, and it required us to make our way by climbing, scrabbling, jumping and abseiling down the channel while battling the rapids and chilly glacial meltwater river. Jumps of nearly 10m into the plunge pools took a strong will, but it was a challenge the whole group enjoyed. The trip was rounded off with a celebratory meal in a local restaurant, where we thanked our Alpine guides Matt and Heather before making our way back up the hill to the refuge in the rain. The expedition section of the DofE is meant to be challenging and, to residents of The Fens, the hills of the Peak or Lake District can be challenging enough. This group certainly earned their stripes on this trip. A stunning location, with some challenging routes, will certainly live long in our memories.

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award

16 pupils embarked on an assessed Expedition in the French Pyrenees.



C o- Curricular Introduction to Performing Arts

Dancing with Studio 19

2017–2018 was the busiest year yet for the Performing Arts Faculty, with over 500 pupils taking to the stage in theatre productions, music concerts, recitals, open-mic evenings, national arts projects and the world’s largest international arts festival.

‘Magical’ is just one word our Prep School children used to describe their dance lessons. The benefits of dance are well known and, at W isbech Grammar School, we are committed to ensuring pupils have access to dance across Prep and Senior School, by working with Studio 19.

One of the highlights of the year was the opening of The Studio – a specific space that facilitates the growing desire for dance at W isbech Grammar School. We have been incredibly fortunate to have garnered links with Studio 19 in King’s Lynn and Lois, one of their experienced teachers, has been coming over three times a week to teach everybody from Prep School pupils to the 6th Form. It has also been exciting to see some of our older pupils help with the teaching, building on their own experience for future life. Music thrived last year with Mrs Missin at the helm, ably supported by Miss Castledine; the range and skill level displayed during the concerts was astonishing. Our musicians put on a busy programme of performances, from large-scale concerts in the Russell Hall to more intimate recitals in the beautiful surroundings of Peckover House. Catherine Missin (Music Scholar) and Abigail McGlone (Music Scholar) gained places with the National Schools Symphony Orchestra. Growing numbers of pupils in both the Prep and Senior School have taken up the opportunity to take individual instrumental or singing lessons with our team of visiting music teachers. Each week, 150 individual lessons are delivered. The range of co-curricular ensembles continues to expand with Samba Band, Jazz Ensemble and Rock Choir now established.

The Drama Department produced a total of five productions last year; from the 5th and 6th Form production to the much-loved Nativity play. In between, productions were taken to the Angles Theatre in W isbech and up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Studio 19 is a ‘wellbeing centre’ operating under the umbrella of dance. The co-founder, Josh W ille, is passionate about the arts, health and wellbeing, and their benefits to young people. Studio 19 offers a wide range of dance and performance classes, specialising in ballet and contemporary dance, with a great team of young, enthusiastic professional dancers with links to other professionals working in commercial dance, musical theatre, contemporary dance and ballet.

Studio 19 is pleased to be aligned with Wisbech Grammar School and we are excited to be teaching younger children the benefits of dance.

M r Jo sh Wille Ow n er, St ud io 19

The benefits of dance are undeniable:

Improves discipline: aiding listening skills, building relationships, taking directions, ability to recreate and improve on general motor skills. Artform: unlike most sports, dance has no right or wrong and children can express themselves freely in their own way.

Exercise: understanding your body’s capabilities and being aware of how it moves helps to improve flexibility and general health. Wellbeing: dance is one of the best forms of exercise for mental health, as countless studies have demonstrated.

Having completed his Foundation course in Musical Theatre at Mountview, former pupil Edward O’Connor gained a place at the prestigious Trinity Laban School to continue his training, while current pupils Faye Thompsett and Charley Kirby travelled to Halifax and Plymouth respectively to take part in the Youth Music Theatre’s epic summer production programme. Candidates for Trinity College Speech and Drama exams in Communication Skills and Musical Theatre achieved a 100% pass rate, with Eleanor Sloan being the first pupil to gain UCAS points by achieving Distinction at Grade 6.

“ ”

1/2 Pa ge A dve rt

The new dance studio is a great environment to be inspired and creative! Mr Josh Wille Own er, Studio 19


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C o- Curricular Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat For this extraordinarily successful production, we not only have our colourful and happy memories but we also have the examiner’s comments to quantify the success of the four packed-out performances. Trinity College London’s visiting examiner, Xania Horne, awarded the production a Distinction and found many aspects to praise. She said that each member of the cast contributed to the overall effectiveness of the ensemble performance ‘through consistent use of facial expressions, spontaneous reactions and vibrant presence’.

This was a great outcome to a real team effort because so many people were involved in the production. The Maintenance Department made and transported the set, members of cast and crew painted the backdrop and finished the props, external agencies helped with the costume demands, the Art Department provided resources and expertise (most notably, the magnificent goat’s head), parents put in the miles to ensure that everyone turned up to the final rehearsals, Pupil Services made sure that channels of communication

were always open, the Catering Department kept us all fed before the shows, and the Angles Theatre staff made the ‘tour’ comfortably uncomplicated. A good job well done!

“ ” So much talent and confidence on display!

R a ch el (Pa rent )

Prep pupils dazzle the audience with their Nativity In this specially written Nativity performance, the narrators used the power of rhyme to tell the traditional story, along with songs and actions as the cast join in this joyous event.

Key moments included Amelia Mitchell, as the Narrator, carrying the ‘narrative with style and vocal strength’ and Charlotte Beck, while singing ‘One More Angel in Heaven’, brought out ‘the humour of the pastiche’ which was emphasised by the Brothers’ line-dancing skills and the appearance of ‘laconic angels’. Josie Suiter as Joseph in jail ‘highlighted a musical, shaped and sustained performance’. Druce Purves as Pharaoh brought the house down, while Miles Whittaker as Potiphar enjoyed his money, Ben Eden evoked a Parisian vibe in ‘Canaan Days’ and Charley Kirby’s talents bore fruit in the ‘Benjamin Calypso’. Direction was praised for various aspects, including the strong dynamic quality of the ensemble, the focus and confidence of each performer, and the ‘transitions [being] directed to ensure that, at each moment, audience focus was guided to the key event and remained there’. The simple stage design meant that optimum space was allowed for supporting the performance and the various locations were indicated


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by an outlined tent, comic pyramids and richly coloured pillars for Pharaoh’s domain. The wheelie-bin golden chariot was well received by both cast and audience and was directly inspired by The Trash Test Dummies at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The technical facilities at the Angles Theatre, and the generous support by its staff meant that ‘the rainbow finale was a triumph’ and the operation of the lighting cues by Millie Oram and Callum Duncan were ‘managed with a high level of control’. The band of past and present pupils, led by Musical Director Mrs Missin ‘contributed significantly to the enjoyment of the performance’.

It was an amazing production. Massive congratulations to you and all the cast and crew. S am ( Pare n t )

In a count ry far away, Th e re come s a s t ory and our play. You’re s ure t o h av e a g reat t ime . Jos e ph and Mary on a bumpy ride wit h a donke y as t h e ir g uide . Be t h le h e m was full of people , but t h e s t able it was peace ful. Unt il. . . S h e ph e rds , King s and animals arriv e , t o s ee t h e s pecial g ift ins ide .

It featured a fabulous solo singing performance by Phoebe Trew as Mary, with the other lead roles played by Daniel Klibanecz (Joseph), Kirsty Saintauran (The Star) and Oliver Woolner (Angel Gabriel). This version of the Nativity story was written and directed by Mrs Duncan, with music played by Mrs Fenn.



C o- Curricular The Bee’s Knees was, well, the bee’s knees! From the moment the first of the 100 children who made up the cast of Flies, Wasps, Drones, Workers and Wannabees took their places on stage, the audience knew it was part of a special event. It is the musical story of a hive whose Queen has died. The Wannabees (those who ‘wanna be Queen’) do not inspire the confidence of Mrs Boddle, Ange, Kath and the rest of the Worker bees, so Bertie Drone suggests a break with tradition and nominates Reg for King. Phoebe, a shy and reluctant Wannabee, is banished from the hive when she points out that a king cannot fulfil the vital function of laying eggs to repopulate the hive. Phoebe is subsequently befriended by Wasps, who bemoan their feared status in ‘The Waspish Tango’, and by a television production crew of Flies, who urge her to see her problems within ‘The Bigger Picture’. Meanwhile the Workers, Drones and Grubs with their Nurses enjoy a party atmosphere in the hive under King Reg’s relaxed rule but are dismayed to discover, once all the honey stores are gone, that so too is their meadow, which has been turned into a car park. Kath organises a brave reconnaissance party of formation fliers, who battle out into a terrible storm that catches all the insects in the chaos, to try to find a new food source.

Reflection on the main school production: The Government Inspector by Nicolai Gogol

The same storm whirls Phoebe to a place full of flowers, and she meets the broken-winged Kath, who tells her of the hive’s peril. Phoebe hurries home and, through ‘The Waggle Dance’, ensures that all the bees know where to find pollen. Natural order is restored and all can live happily ever after.

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S om e c ra c k i n g ind ivid u al p e r fo r m a n ce s

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This year’s main School production was the classic comedy The Government Inspector by Nicolai Gogol. Pupils from every year group within the Senior School were involved in the show, doing everything from being on stage or in the technical box to ‘calling’ the show from the wings and assistant directing. Our production of The Bee’s Knees by John Gardyne and Matthew Miller was a world premiere of a revised version written several years ago. Director, Susan Duncan, became aware of the musical when one of its songs was included in a Trinity College London musical theatre anthology and contacted the creators to find out more about the show. They added some additional material, two new songs and stayed in touch throughout the rehearsal process. It was therefore a delight to welcome both writers to our performance, who offered their good wishes before the house lights went down. They encouraged the cast with praise for their ‘masses of enthusiasm’, identified ‘some cracking individual performances’ and enjoyed ‘a sense of meeting old friends’ when hearing lines and songs somewhat forgotten since their inception. Mrs Neaves presented our guests with framed commemorative programmes on behalf of the cast and thanked them for making the material accessible.

The majority of the company were from the younger years and worked tirelessly, amid winter germs and royal commitments, to ensure that the show went ahead on the first night. The company had to cope with many things throughout the run, not least being two members of the cast succumbing to illness but, despite their age, they came together and produced a superb demonstration of slick, fast-paced comedic theatre; featuring dumb-shows, asides, prat-falls and plenty of laughs. Special mention must go to Kryzsztof W isniewski (Upper 6th) as the Governor, for his endless energy when performing his wonderfully ridiculous character; Benjamin Eden (3rd Form), ‘not’ the Inspector, for his complete bafflement as to why a common copying clerk was being treated so well; and to Amelia Mitchell (1st Form) and Ethan Croker (2nd Form) for the tireless comedy brought to their characters Piotr Ivanovich Bobchinsky and Piotr Ivanovich Dobchinsky respectively.



C o- Curricular Taking the Stage In April, the latest in a series of intimate open-mic events was opened magically by Miles Whittaker. As the perfect party guest, Miles supplied flowers from nowhere, along with an impressive number of bottles from an empty cabinet; having assured us he was too young to drink alcohol, he then made them all disappear into a soft drink can. Charley Kirby followed, accompanying herself on the piano to perform a strong cover of ‘When I Was Your Man’ by Bruno Mars. Mrs Duncan celebrated 50 years of the publication of The Mersey Sound, a seminal volume of modern poetry, by reading ‘W ithout You’ by Adrian Henri and topping it off with a short blast of Aussie ‘strine’ (slang) and a rendition of ‘Clancy of the Overflow’ by Banjo Paterson.

Prep School concert Many pupils in the Prep School take part in musical lessons that the School offers. As a School we like to encourage our pupils to share their talents and by performing in front of their families and friends, this a perfect opportunity to celebrate their hard work and many hours of practice.

Dancing at Lughnasa Callum Duncan pursued his long-standing support of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s multi-award-winning musical Hamilton by performing George III’s warning to America ‘You’ll Be Back’, and Eloise Fradley and Catherine Missin restaged their successful House music competition entry, ‘The Rose’. Cameron Lewis, making his debut to the proceedings, teamed up with Catherine for Ed Sheeran’s ‘A Team’ and then Mrs Missin accompanied Ellie and Catherine for an uplifting return to the recent production of Godspell at the Angles Theatre with ‘Day by Day’.

Upper 6th leavers’ concert wows audience

Taking the Stage continued in the Michaelmas Term both during Period 5, and its original early-evening slot to ensure that even more pupils, staff and parents could share their passion for performance.

The leavers’ concert on 3 May marked the end of music making for our Upper 6th pupils, as they prepared for their A-Level exams and life beyond.

From beginners to the more experienced musicians every child received the support of the audience and gained more confidence in their performance skills. Our Head Girl (Emma) demonstrated her impressive violin skills playing ‘Singhalese Dancer’, Oscar (Prep 5 pupil) played ‘running up and down’ on the piano and MH choir sang ‘Favourite Things’ from The Sound of Music. For those pupils who did not perform as soloists, there was the opportunity for them to sing with their classmates and enjoy the experience of standing on stage and receiving applause.

We are ver y p roud o f o ur y o ung m u s icians and thei r co nf i de nce t o be abl e to per form at these events. Pare nt s are al way s del ig h t ed to see thei r childre n sho w casi ng thei r t ale nt s i n such a po sit iv e envi ro nm en t .

M r s Ke r yn Neav es, S e n i o r De p u t y H ead o f P re p Sc h ool


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There was a fantastic atmosphere as the evening started, with the ever-stronger orchestra playing Handel’s ‘March’, complete with 4th Former Beatrice W inder on timpani. The audience was then treated to a dazzling performance of Zempleni’s ‘Sonata’ by the flute trio, coached by Mrs Garford. Jazz Band, led by Mr Ivan Garford, gave two cool renditions of classic numbers, ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ and ‘Summertime’, with powerful vocals from Catherine Missin. The Arcadia Baroque, which has grown in size, performed two pieces, both called ‘Rondo’. The first was by Bach; the second by our very own Gabrielle Ayling, who composed it as part of her GCSE Music. We were delighted to have Jasper Pike, from Prep 5, joining us on the cello in this performance. Cantus Choir, under the guidance of Miss Castledine, gave a vibrant performance of ‘Africa’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’.

This was an intimate performance that threw into sharp relief, the pressures and minutiae of a rural Irish family in 1936. The audience was brought right into the kitchen, with lighting used to define the garden and time past, so that every facial expression and verbal nuance coloured Brian Friel’s complex and poignant text. Every performance from each of the company was finely observed and accurately conveyed the familiar and emotional shorthand that exist after living for 30 years in close quarters. Kate (Tarn Chamberlain James) was the oldest sister and village school teacher, trying to keep the family together; Maggie (Faye Thompsett) was an exuberant riddle teller to the boy Michael (Amy Everall), who also narrated the action as an older man; the ‘unpaid servant’ sisters, grumpy Rose (Eleanor Sloan) and the slow-burning fuse of Agnes (Arina Kokina), eked out a pitiful living knitting gloves; then there was the unexpected religious tolerance of their Father Jack (Kryzysztof W isniewski) and the smooth talking charlatan Gerry (Zachariah Lee), who causes monumental chaos in Chris’s (Catherine Missin) life. Several theatrical moments will remain burned into the inner eye, such as the exchange of hats, the methodical wool winding, the slow-motion ironing and the affirmative abandoned dancing of those Mundy girls. This was a skilful performance, directed with sensitivity and ensuring that all the actors were able to share the best of their skills with an absorbed and appreciative audience.

Soloists included our two excellent Upper 6th Music Scholars, Abigail McGlone and James Horsburgh. Abigail’s impressive interpretation of Hindemith’s ‘Sonata’ and James’ hauntingly beautiful playing of Debussy’s ‘La Plus Que Lente’ demonstrated what can be achieved through dedicated practise and commitment. Also performing were Zachariah Lee (piano), Anna Kober (clarinet), and Charlotte White and Matilda Suiter (voice). All played and sang to a high standard. We were also treated to a mesmerising performance by Alice Strafford (3rd Form) on harp. It is such a rare pleasure to hear this instrument played live. We are extremely grateful to all the performers, who gave so much energy to the evening, and the dedicated team of teaching staff who inspire and motivate our young musicians to achieve the standards they do. The audience left the Russell Hall buzzing with enthusiasm and full of praise for all that they had heard.



C o- Curricular Yo u t h M u s i c T h ea t re Congratulations to 2nd former Charley Kirby who gained a place with the Youth Music Theatre (UK) last summer. Charley is the second W isbech Grammar School pupil to gain a place with this nationally recognised company in as many years, following in the footsteps of Faye Thompsett last year, and this exciting opportunity saw her spending two weeks over last summer in Plymouth.

Musical treats at the Michaelmas Term Concert An evening of exquisite musical performances delighted an expectant audience at the 2017 Michaelmas Term Concert. The Russell Hall was filled with parents, friends and staff, who were treated to a varied programme performed by pupils from the 1st Form all the way to the 6th Form. Arcadia Baroque opened the concert by performing Vivaldi’s ‘Concerto for Two Flutes in C Major’, with two of our scholars, Catherine Missin and Abigail McGlone, as soloists.

As well as established groups such as Steel on Steel, the Jazz Band and Sax Pack, a new group gave its first public performance. The Training W ind Band, under the guidance of their director Mrs Garford, played two pieces by Haydn. Cantus Choir, coached by Miss Castledine, gave a beautiful rendition of ‘Run’ and created a flashmob to sing Adele’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’, followed by a dynamic version of Abba’s ‘Mamma Mia’. The expanded orchestra, with soloist Kevin Huang (trumpet), gave a majestic performance of Clarke’s ‘Prince of Denmark March’.

Working 12-hour days during the rehearsal process and the fortnight will culminate in performances at the glorious Barbican Theatre. Thousands of young people across the country audition for a part in one of the eight productions that YMT put on each year, so it was a huge achievement for Charley. She also kept herself busy by playing Judah in WGS’s production of ‘Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ in June and Pop in KD Productions’ ‘We W ill Rock You’ in July.

I love all the opportunities to get involved with Music and Drama at WGS and the encouragement from teachers to follow my passion.

1 00% pa ss rate in Len t Ter m Tr in ity Col l ege m usic ex am s

Cha rley Kirby

On 20 March, 16 pupils from Prep 2 through to Upper 6th took music exams, ranging from the Initial grade to Grade 8 – the highest level awarded. Trinity College examiner, Nigel Springthorpe, spent the day in the Dwight Centre listening to each pupil and assessing how well they had met the standard required by the exam board.


Congratulations to all performers for their hard work and thanks to the music staff for their support.

Mrs Ja n e Mi ss i n, Hea d of Mu s i c

Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

We would like to congratulate all pupils who were successful in these exams, and thank their instrumental and singing teachers for their support in preparing them so well. Mr s Jan e Missin , H ead of Music

Pupils had worked for months with their instrumental and singing teachers on their pieces, scales and technical exercises. The daily practise paid off as all 16 pupils passed – seven with merits and five with distinctions: Rebekah Clough (Piano, Initial grade, Prep 4), Emma Markillie (Violin, Grade 2, Prep 6), Madelin Brown-Ciarla (Flute, Grade 2, 2nd Form), Gabrielle Ayling (Flute, Grade 4, 5th Form) and Abigail McGlone (Flute, Grade 8, Upper 6th Form). Abigail’s challenging programme included a movement from Mozart’s ‘Concerto for Flute’, and a sonata movement by the 20th century composer Hindemith.



C o- Curricular S o me t h i n g fo r e v e r y o n e du ring Pe r i o d 5

Talented singer/songwriter Natasha performs ‘Songwriter’s Dream’ for the first time 3rd Former Natasha Richardson is certainly discovering her talent in singing and songwriting. Pupils and staff were thrilled by Natasha’s performance of ‘Songwriter’s Dream’ at the House music competition, a song written in just two hours.

This important part of the School day allows pupils the opportunity to pursue their interests and acquire new ones, while developing confidence, knowledge and skills.

A rc h e r y C l u b !

I found inspiration from my own experiences when I wrote ‘Songwriters Dream’. The song focuses on questioning your place in the world and worrying about the future while focusing on the present day.

Natasha studies music at W isbech Grammar School and has been playing the piano since she was eight years old. Last year, her parents gave her a guitar for her 14th birthday, and she has been writing her own songs and taking guitar lessons ever since. She has gone onto write 11 songs and performed ‘Songwriter’s Dream’ in front of staff and pupils in February. Jane Missin, Head of Music, has supported Natasha in exploring her musical ability and encouraged her to sing at the House Music Competition for the first time. While many schools have had to cut back on their music provision, W isbech Grammar School is firmly committed to developing the music curriculum and encouraging as many young people to take up music and performing arts. At W isbech Grammar School, we believe that educational development is not only confined to the classroom or laboratory but can also be found through music, performing arts, dance, arts and textiles, and the extensive co-curricular activities on offer. This enables pupils to ‘discover who they are’ in many ways, allowing them to become who they want to be.


Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

N at ash a R i c h ardso n

Music has many benefits in helping young people express themselves and discover who they are. It is great for improving wellbeing and mental health. It is so important the children have a positive outlet and what could be better than composing your own songs!

M r s Jan e M i ssi n , H ead o f M u si c

I had never previously been involved in archery until I came to this School. I was a bit concerned whether it would be too difficult for me to learn but I decided to give it a go and I am so pleased that I did. It is one of the most enjoyable activities we do and I always look forward to it.

At first, I found it a bit difficult but, after a few weeks, with the help and advice from Mr Fox, I started to develop my skills. Mr Fox spends his time encouraging and helping us throughout. Everyone belonging to the club loves it and we all have a lot of fun and laughs together.

There is a wide range of activities, each session lasting 40 minutes. Options include academic support, discussion and extension, the chance to learn new languages or exploring film and photography. There is also the opportunity to build sporting skills and fitness levels as well as extending the opportunity to try sports and games beyond the already-extensive formal sports curriculum. Pupils can show creativity and flair in the art and textiles studios, and others can take drama to new levels, whether in performance or backstage. There is also the chance to sample the delights of Otaku. The Poyser and Junior Poyser groups open academic horizons with wide-ranging topics, presentations, trips and discussions. We like to think that there are real opportunities for pupils to show all they can do. We are always open to new suggestions if we can make them happen. A major additional benefit is that the sessions often allow pupils from different year groups to mix. It is great to see, for example, pupils from the 1st Form and the 6th Form working together as they interact in the food and nutrition rooms or during role-playing games.

Mr Fox not only teaches us but entertains us throughout. I have been going to this club for most terms and I enjoy it more every time I go. Sometimes it becomes competitive as we all compete against each other, even Mr Fox (he doesn’t always win!).

Different age groups attend the club, making it a great way to get to know other year groups. A super Period 5 choice, which I would certainly recommend to anyone interested. THANK YOU MR FOX! From everyon e at Arch ery Club



C o- Curricular Grow Cook Eat Club

Spotlight on Young Engineers Club

In Grow Cook Eat Club we make different things every week while we dance to music.

We strive to create many opportunities for pupils studying design and technolog y and, recognising the National Year of Engineering, by starting several new projects in our Young Engineers Club.

Over the years I’ve been a part of this club, I’ve become more adventurous and willing to try new food. We make dishes such as risotto, curry, Chinese dishes, cakes and pastries. My skill and confidence has grown in the kitchen but the best part of the club is definitely chatting and laughing with Mrs Sloan and the pupils while we enjoy what we’ve made.

Young Engineers Club The club is very well established but it has further flourished in the School’s new extracurricular programme. There are four specific lessons during the school day each week, during which pupils from all years can participate in Young Engineers projects and extended-workshop team projects. So far, they have completed modifications to our Young Engineers’ offroad buggy and started the year of with the Engineering project – a model army jeep to be used by the School and for promotion at RAF Marham.

As far as clubs go, we probably have the most trips, often to London to visit markets and for tours of real kitchens of some of the best hotels, such as the Hotel Café Royal. We’ve also been to Ms W ildman’s house to learn how to cook with an Aga. Next, we’re going back for fire-pit cookery.

This academic year has also seen the launch of our new sustainable product development programme. Our pupils now produce all their projects in a sustainable way, using FSC-approved wood, recyclable thermoplastics and metals. These products are made under the department’s ecological brand and include recyclable tags to identify the materials used so that, at the end of their life, they can be recycled to reduce their impact on the environment. Projects so far have ranged from treasure boxes in the 1st Form to radios and iPod docks in the 3rd and 4th Forms.

We help at events, such as working with the renowned chef Brian Turner and at open mornings, where we create new recipes and serve guests scones, cakes and sausage rolls to our own recipes. Our favourite session is when we fire up the outdoor wood-fired pizza oven. If you love food, this is a brilliant club for you.

Archaeology Club Mrs Fox runs Archaeolog y Club every Wednesday Period 5. She has been guiding us on how to start a test pit, how to dig the pit and to see if there is anything of archaeological interest.


Embracing new technology We are doing two test pits. We have planned out the test pit so that people in the future can find exactly where we have been digging. We hope that we will be finding lots of things of interest.

I chose Archaeolog y Club as it was different to the other clubs and I am interested in History and Science. The great thing is that we get to go outdoors and get our hands dirty at our test site. We recently found very old tiles and metal objects that had been buried in the ground. Whether you enjoy History or Science, this club may be of interest to you. We are very active and learn about the history of where items we find may have come from. Mrs Fox is great and has lots of experience on Archaeolog y and it is also a great way to meet new friends in the School.

This year also sees our department evolve as we continue to embrace the best of traditional manufacturing with the most up-to-date computer-aided design and making techniques. Our new 3D printer was generously donated by two of our loyal sponsors and parents, T im Smith of W illiams Refrigeration and Nick Osborn of FRP 3D Design. This has transformed our work, with 6th Form pupils using it to further enhance the Bluetooth speakers they produced in the Michaelmas Term. Samuel Birch used the printer to create the speaker housing for his design, as well as our new 3D solid works software to create his original 3D model of the product, which was used to mark out and produce the various components. Another 6th Form pupil, Morgan Smith, who had studied graphic products in another local school, used this software to create his model to a very high level.

P5aLive - The sound of Period 5 Members of the Young Engineers Club also eagerly started their new pupil radio station. They originally came up with the idea because they wanted to help to create a shared and combined feel to Period 5, so that pupils in every activity could feel part of the same experience. They came up with the idea of a radio station that everybody on site could listen to – hence its name, P5aLive. Members of the group looked online and quickly realised that a complete starter kit would cost about £3,000. This was beyond their budget so they approached Mrs Duncan to see if she had some old production equipment that she didn’t use anymore. She gave them a mixing desk, headphones, speakers and an amplifier. To date, the entirety of the station’s equipment, which is used to broadcast to the DT workshops and podcasts to the School’s Firefly system, has cost just £45, for a new radio-boom microphone. Thanks also go to Mr Logan. The radio station is now fully licensed with PPL, the national radio licensing and broadcast authority. This means that it can broadcast current songs and pass on news, weather and Period 5 notices. We look forward to whatever great ideas evolve and develop during the rest of this year as both pupils and teachers endeavour to expand our achievements.

E dw ard ( P u p i l )

Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l




We are working to increase our partnership programmes across other sports during the coming year.

E n g l a n d i n t e r n a t i o n a l p l ay e r o p e n s n e w n e t b a l l co u r t s

M r P h i l Web b, Di re c t o r o f Spor t

Introduction to Sport The past year has seen notable successes and developments across the various sports played at Wisbech Grammar School. Following the redevelopment of our netball courts we were delighted to welcome Natalie Panagarry from Loughborough Lightning to open our new courts in January 2018. This facility has been a great boost for Mrs Goodier and our netball programme, allowing our pupils to train and play matches on a wonderful new surface. The 1st XV rugby team had another excellent season, with wins against schools’ much bigger than us. Five pupils were selected to play for the Lambs, independent schools’ national team. The younger teams also progressed well this year and five pupils were selected to play in the Northampton Saints DPP festival at Franklin’s Gardens. Our recent addition of floodlights has been an asset for Mr Laybourne and his team, allowing them to train after school throughout the year. Our girls’ cricket programme is firmly established and showing promising results alongside that of the boys. Again, we are delighted to have coaching by Norfolk and Cambridge county cricketers, and also to see two pupils training with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club.


Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

by Phil Webb, Director of Sport Hockey continues to flourish and we are delighted to welcome Mrs Glover to the coaching team, who is a Level 4 coach and coaches at regional performance centres. Her influence and experience will help to shape our programme in the coming months. Athletics is thriving, with notable performances at the County Clubs and County Schools Athletic Championships as well as at the IAPS regional and national competitions. It has been a year of individual successes across a range of sports, including swimming, ice hockey, inline speed skating, trampolining and karate. Lewis Shipley was selected to play football for England U16s and Ross Clarke has made his debut in the National Ice Hockey League with Peterborough Phantoms’ 1st team. We have focused on developing professional partnerships with Northampton Saints and Northampton CCC, which has allowed us to work alongside professional teams to give our pupils player pathways. The Northampton Saints Rugby camp held in the Easter holidays was of great benefit, not only to our pupils, but also to children from the wider community who wanted to develop their rugby skills. We also partnered with Rookies Netball Club in W isbech, which offers our pupils and children from the wider community the opportunity to play in teams throughout the year.

Wisbech Grammar School welcomed Nat Panagarry (Loughborough Lightning Captain and England netball player) on 21 January to open its new outdoor netball courts.

The courts are in the centre of the campus, further demonstrating the School’s commitment to girls sport. Its netball teams have been training on the new courts for the past few months. W ith excellent coaching and training, the girls’ netball teams are starting to see improvements to their game, with a great start to the season across all the age groups.

Thank you to everyone at Wisbech Grammar School for allowing me to coach your senior netball teams. The girls worked incredibly hard all season and it was great to see them trying new set-ups during match scenarios. I am extremely impressed with the facilities at Wisbech Grammar School and, of course, the newly laid netball courts are fantastic. I wish the girls the best of luck in their upcoming fixtures.

M s Na t Pa na ga rry, Engla nd n et ba ll pla yer



Sport Netball highlights 2018 It was an e xciting season for our netball teams this year, producing some excellent results against stiff opposition. The 1st VII worked tirelessly throughout the season. An agonising defeat by one goal against Ratcliffe spurred us on to beat local rivals, King’s Ely 28–26. This was the start of an exciting period for netball, with Natalie Panagarry from Loughborough Lightning leading a training session for the 1sts, Greyhounds and Under 15s. She also opened the new netball courts and the girls learned a great deal about attacking play and centre-pass tactics, which they went on to utilise. They certainly took momentum into their next game against St Neots, winning 29–28 in a physical and fastpaced affair. We also enjoyed hosting Dartford Grammar and won this game convincingly, 36–10. It is fair to say that we have come up against some very experienced teams in the form of Wymondham College and Stamford, whose players towered over us. We finished the season by winning the ‘fast net’ tournament held at home, against local club sides. Hetty Beckett, the captain, always led from the front, encouraging and motivating her team and playing at an extremely high level. The Greyhounds enjoyed success, beating Ratcliffe, Wymondham College and Bedford Modern. They worked defensively as a team to turn the ball over. Harriet Munson captained the side enthusiastically in her final year of netball at W isbech Grammar School. The 3rd VII played two fixtures this season, which highlights just how many senior players are enjoying the game and the depth we have within our sport. The U15A team started the season with a difficult fixture against a new opponent, the Stephen Perse Foundation. Suffering their first loss since they were U13s spurred the team on in their next two matches against King’s Ely and Wymondham College, which they won 25–10 and 29–10 respectively. The season ended on a high, despite losing to a strong Oundle side, the team beat Gresham’s 23–12.


The U15B team continued to work hard in training and, with new members of the team, built on their teamwork skills, losing against the Stephen Perse Foundation and Oundle but beating Bedford Modern 9–7. The U14s had a challenging season against some strong opposition. The A-team made a good start, beating King’s Ely 22–15 and Wymondham College 17–6. The B-team beat Bedford 7–3 and Gresham’s 8–5. On the whole, they worked hard in training and it was difficult to select an A-team as there were about 12 players in contention. W ith more experience and focus, both the A and B teams have the potential to be even more successful next year. The U13s had an excellent season. The A-team won five of their nine fixtures, with outstanding performances against Stamford (22–20) and Beeston Hall (20–11). The B-team also won five of their season fixtures, beating Beeston, Kimbolton, Bedford and Moreton Hall. This team have the best statistics of any team in the School. The U12A were a completely new team at the start of term and endeavoured to build up their teamwork and skills. They played with enthusiasm and commitment in training and all players made good progress. Despite having to battle in every match against teams who had been working together for longer, they were resilient and never gave up. Their match against Kimbolton was the highlight, where they unfortunately lost by just one goal. Our Prep School pupils worked very hard on the netball courts this year, with the U11s producing good wins against St Hugh’s, Kimbolton and Copthill. The U9s had a wonderful season, losing only one game between the two teams. They showed great commitment during matches and worked hard in training to develop their individual and team skills.

The 1st VII (Wisbech vs St Neots) Looking forward to next year, I am very excited about the new senior teams. Some outstanding players from the current 4th Form will become part of the squads and competition for places will be great.

Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

Winning 29-28 in a physical and fast-paced affair.

M s S am Go o di e r, H ead o f N e t b al l



Sport Bo y s’ h o c ke y re p o r t It was a tough season for all the teams, though to their credit, every individual played their part in all the matches. Towards the end of term, the poor weather stopped the teams gaining some final wins, with 16 games lost to the snow and frost. After a slow start, both the 1st XI and Greyhound teams gained some momentum, producing winning performances against an Uppingham Senior XI and Thomas Deacon Academy respectively. Many players were experiencing senior hockey for the first time, with everyone integrating well into the squad. Thanks must go to all the U6th Form pupils, who have supported both myself and their peers over this and previous seasons.

Gi rls h o ckey repo r t The Senior Girls 1st XI had a hardfought season, with small margins making the difference between winning and losing. All the squad played their part this season, culminating in wins against local rivals Stamford, King’s Ely and Oakham. The Greyhounds were an enthusiastic bunch! Their tenacity and commitment on the pitch during training and matches cannot be faulted, and they progressed well, both individually and as a team. This positive approach secured wins against Ratcliffe College, Kimbolton, Gresham’s and Culford. We said goodbye to a number of the senior players in both the 1st XI and Greyhounds squads, and thanks must go to all of them for the support and commitment over the years. After a slow start to the term, the U15s got into their stride, securing wins against Oundle, Ratcliffe College, Norwich School and Culford. While they suffered some losses, they demonstrated excellent competitive spirit and improved game understanding in all their matches. This positive approach should stand them in good stead as they move to complete for places in the senior teams next year. The U14s had a very good season, producing fantastic wins against Kimbolton, Newport, Stamford and Culford, before beating Stamford again later on in the season. Other highlights include drawing with Gresham’s, The Leys, Ratcliffe and Saffron Walden. The best moment of the season was when the team qualified


Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

for the regional round of the National Schools Competition. Throughout the season, all 17 pupils within the squad worked exceptionally hard and their confidence, skills and tactical awareness improved considerably. This season has seen the U13A and B teams play both the VII-a-side and XI-a-side versions of the game. A large squad of players worked hard to improve their stick skills, movement on and off the ball, and understanding of tactics for both formats of the game. Although it was a difficult season, the players on the U13A VIIs team always played with enthusiasm and worked their hardest during match play. The U12s produced some good results, with wins against Radcliffe and Thomas Deacon Academy, coupled with draws against Gresham’s, Beeston, King’s Ely and W itham Hall. All the players should take credit for their efforts and commitment, with several pupils picking up a stick for the first time. The U11 teams developed well, improving their skills and team play. They produced good performances and wins against St Hugh’s, Langley, King’s Ely and Brooke Priory. The U9s enjoyed an excellent season, winning the majority of their fixtures. Their skill development and performances bode well for the future. All the teams should take credit for the improvements in both their technical skills and tactical understanding. While the teams suffered losses, we are making great progress in challenging schools. Thanks must go to all the staff involved with the teams, who have encouraged and challenged their players to develop in all areas of the game.

The U15As produced a series of very good performances to secure victories against Royal Hospital School, Bedford Modern and Gresham’s. Several of the squad’s players supported the younger members of the senior squad to record a valuable win against a Gresham’s U16 side. Unfortunately, the weather denied the team the opportunity to extend their wins, with four out of their last five games cancelled. The U14 sides had a mixed season, with the A-team securing a win against Bedford Modern and a draw against a strong Royal Hospital side. W ith a large number of pupils playing hockey across these two year groups, we were able to field an U14B side, many of whom played their first competitive match for the School. Despite their loss, it was clear their overall skill level and game understanding had improved.

The U13 and U12 age groups combined for this term, offering players the opportunity to play in a higher team, rewarding them for their efforts in improving their skill set and game knowledge. We fielded teams from A to E, giving more pupils the opportunity to play competitive matches this year. The U13 sides had some tough battles, though all the teams have worked hard, securing wins against Lincoln Minster, St Hugh’s and Bedford Modern. The U11 teams worked hard to develop their individual skills and team play and all teams produced very good performances against St Hugh’s. The U9 boys produced some excellent performances and show great promise for the future. Every pupil has played their part this year, with many across the year groups playing a competitive match for the first time, so credit to all for their commitment. Thanks must go to all the coaches for their time and effort in developing the pupils’ core skills and knowledge of the game, from which we have seen glimpses of some future talent.

There has been great development across boys and girls hockey this year and we are looking to see this come to fruition next year. Competition for First Team places will be very competitive across both teams.

Phil Webb, Direct o r o f Spo rt

C o u n t y H o c ke y James Kerry and Sam Phillips represented Norfolk U16/17 boys in November 2017 at Watton, where they played Lincolnshire.

After a closely fought first half, the score at halftime was 1–0 to Norfolk, thanks to some excellent goalkeeping from James. Lincolnshire drew level 10 minutes into the second half, but Norfolk went ahead shortly after with a goal from Sam. Lincolnshire were unable to get the ball past James, with the final score being 2–1 to Norfolk.



Sport A t hle tics report – Tr in it y Ter m 201 8 On 12th May 2018, Wisbech Grammar School took 30 athletes to compete in the Cambridgeshire Athletics Association Track and Field Championships at the Embankment Stadium, Peterborough. There were several outstanding performances on the day, with W isbech Grammar School athletes winning podium places, as well as breaking School records and setting personal best times in all age groups.

The following pupils gained medals in their events: County champion s – Gol d m edal s U13 U13 U13 U15 U15

– – – – –

Alfie Hoyles (Shot, 8.92m); Freddie Allen (High Jump, 1.40m); Lewis Wing (Long Jump, 4.44m); Emily Thomas (Shot, 8.99m); Ethan Jones (100m, 12.44s).

The following athletes achieved podium places:

U13 – Freddie Allen (Long Jump, 4.41m); U13 – Harrison Smith (Hurdles, 15.58s); U15 – Oliver Coles, (300m, Athletics report – Trinity Term 2018 41.15s); U15 – Harvey King (Shot,10.36m); U17 – Aimee Newman (Discus, 17.17m).

U10 U10 U10 U10 U11 U12 U12 U13 U13 U13 U13 U13 U14

3rd place – Bro n z e m edal s

New School records were set by:

2nd pl ace – S i l v er m edal s

U13 U15 U15 U17

– – – –

Lewis Wing (100m, 13.50s); Lucy Prior (Triple Jump, 8.77m); Hannah Smith (Discus, 17.00m); George Dady (Shot, 10.69m).

A number of School records were also broken: 1st 1st 1st 3rd 3rd

Form Form Form Form Form

– – – – –

Holly Lawrence (800m, 2m46s); Oliver Taylor (1500m, 5.35m); Alfie Hoyles (Shot, 8.92m); Oliver Coles (300m, 41.15s); Lewis Shipley (800m, 2m13s).

“ ” We would like to congratulate all pupils who competed and especially to those athletes who set new personal bests.

Mrs S a l l y We bb, Hea d of At hl e t i cs


On 18th May, the athletes in Prep 4, 5 and 6 and the 1st and 2nd forms competed in the annual Gresham’s 8 Schools Athletics Meeting. Some pupils had previously competed for the School and others were making their debut. The athletes were awarded points for places achieved in their events, which went towards a team score, following which W isbech Grammar School was placed fifth overall.

Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

U11 U12 U12 U13 U13 U13

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

– – – – – –

Oliver Beck (3rd, Long Jump and 1st, Relay); Lucy Brett (1st, Relay); Kai Peggs (1st, Relay); Isla Kitchingman (1st, Relay); Jemima Mitchell (2nd, 800m); Jules Jamieson (2nd, 800m); Tom Birch (3rd, Javelin); Lewis Wing (1st, 100m, 200m and Long Jump); Alfie Hoyles (2nd, Shot, 2nd, Relay and 3rd, Discus); Lewis Wing (2nd, Relay); Charlotte Beck (2nd, Relay); Evan Jones (2nd, Relay); Ashton Webb (2nd, Shot).

Jemima Mitchell (800m, 2m47); Lilian Ley (1500m, 7m0s); Emma Markillie (Javelin, 16.02m); Lewis Wing (200m, 27.84s); Alfie Hoyles – (Shot, 10.08m); Alfie Hoyles – (Discus, 23.10m).

The following athletes qualified for IAPS Regional Athletics Championships at Bedford: U12 – L  ilian Ley, Jemima Mitchell, Olexandra Klibanecz, Emma Markillie, Jules Jamieson, Sam Ludlow, George Purell, Tom Birch. U13 – C  harlotte Beck, Holly Lawrence, Hetty Hoyles, Lewis Wing, Oliver Taylor, Freddie Allen, Harrison Smith, Alfie Hoyles. U14 – K  eira Wilde, Kirsten Barker, Alana Pritchard, Olivia Rodriguez, Kaan Arslan, Harry Milton, Alistair Kerry, Ashton Webb, Julian Brooks.

On 22nd May, W isbech Grammar School took 48 pupils to compete in the Isle of Ely District Athletics Championships at LynnSport. Conditions were not ideal, with a blustery wind affecting competitors in the track and field events. There were some excellent performances from the athletes both on the track and in the field, with some achieving new personal best.

New School records were achieved by: U13 – Abby Piccaver (300m, 48.17s), U13 – Alfie Hoyles (Discus, 23.45m) U13 – Oliver Taylor (300m, 51.60s).

“ ” Oliver Taylor equalled a record held by Jack Robb for 300m with a time of 51.60s.

All the athletes worked hard to earn points for the team. In the end, we were runners up, losing by only two points.

Mr s Sally Web b, H ead of Ath letic s

The meeting was also the selection process for the County Schools Championships for pupils in the 3rd and 4th forms.

The following pupils were selected to represent the Isle of Ely District at the County Schools Athletics Championships at Peterborough:

3rd Form – A bby Piccaver, Tia Bideau, Emily Thomas, Lucy Prior, Lana Hayes, Isabel Gowler, Ethan Jones, Lewis Shipley, Oliver Coles, Harvey King. 4th Form – R osie Muspratt, Isabella Pope, Olivia Pugh, Ellie Padmore, Jack Robb, Matvei Kokin.

On 8 June, 28 athletes from the Prep School and Lower School, who had achieved the qualifying standards in their events, attended the East Area Athletics Championships at the International Athletics Stadium in Bedford. The athletes are all to be congratulated for their performances, with several achieving personal bests in their events.

Five School records were broken or equalled: U12 U13 U13 U13 U13

– – – – –

Emma Markillie (Javelin); Oliver Taylor (1500m); Alfie Hoyles (Shot); Holly Lawrence (800m); Freddie Allen (High Jump).

Three athletes qualified for the National Championships at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. At that event, Emma Markillie (Javelin) threw nearly as far as her season’s best. Freddie Allen competed in the High Jump and the Long Jump. In the high jump, he faced a strong field and jumped just below his personal best. He came 3rd in the long jump with a distance of 4m76, setting a new personal best and breaking his own School record. Alfie Hoyles competed in the Shot event and finished in 3rd position, with a throw of 9m13. Well done to Emma, Alfie and Freddie for competing at national level – a fantastic achievement! On 9th June, 12 athletes from 3rd and 4th forms attended the County Schools’ Athletics Championships, competing for the Isle of Ely Team. They performed well on the day, with Lucy Prior breaking a 26-year-old record and Oliver Coles breaking his own School record.

The following athletes qualified to compete for Cambridgeshire at the Anglian Schools’ Athletics Championships at Norwich: 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd

Form Form Form Form Form

– – – – –

Ethan Jones (100m and Relay); Oliver Coles (300m); Emily Thomas (Shot); Lucy Prior (Javelin); Lewis Shipley (800m).



C ri cket h igh l igh t s Last season saw cricket go from strength to strength, with a record number of boys and girls representing the School.

The Boy s’ 1 st XI h a d a goo d sea son, wi t h t h e hi gh l ig ht b ein g a ra re vi ctory a ga in s t t h e MC C . A l l th e b o ys w orked ex tre m e l y hard a nd the fut ure i s l ook ing b r i g h t w i t h so ma ny t a l e n t ed yo u ng c ric kete r s co m i n g th rou g h the S c h o o l.

Mr Ne i l Ta y l or, Hea d of Cri ck e t

This is the third full year of cricket at W isbech Grammar School for the girls. The Girls’ 1st XI had a super season, with many young cricketers making their 1st XI debuts in 2018. Highlights were victories over Oundle School and Leicester Grammar School, and a pleasing day where we managed victories against Culford School at 1st XI, U15 and U14 levels.

All teams in these age groups showed improvements as the season progressed. Our Prep School pupils also demonstrated great enthusiasm and aptitude for the sport. These younger pupils are the cornerstone of the development of cricket within the School. The U9 boys’ and girls’ teams both enjoyed good wins against Beeston Hall and Brooke Priory. The U11s continued to develop their skills with the girls securing wins over Copthill and New Hall. On 15th June, we invited 160 Year 5 pupils from local primary schools to take part in our cricket festival alongside our pupils. 24 games of softball cricket were played, with participants having great fun and all showed improvement during the festival.


This is my second season as Head of Cricket and it has been exciting to see the progress made in such a short time. The future of cricket at Wisbech Grammar School is looking very positive and with this in mind we were excited to welcome Steve Goldsmith to our coaching team. Steve played first-class cricket for Kent and Derbyshire and has already made an immediate impact on our players with his wealth of knowledge and experience.

M r Neil Ta ylo r, Hea d o f Cricket

Cricket Academy – Lent and Trinity Terms Wisbech Grammar School Cricket Academy was hailed as a real success after local cricketers aged between 9 and 14 years enjoyed themselves while improving their cricket skills. Over 50 boys and girls have attended these sessions led by our coaches Neil Taylor and James Williams, who both have considerable experience of coaching young cricketers.

Neil Taylor is involved with Norfolk Youth Cricket as chairman and county age group coach and James W illiams is the Director of Performance and Player Development for Cambridgeshire.

Ex-county cricketer Steve Goldsmith joined the coaching team for the Trinity Term. They were ably assisted by exNorfolk player and ECB Level 2 coach Peter Coote, and current Norfolk opening bowler and ECB Level 2 coach Ben Coote. The sessions focused on the technical, tactical, physical and mental aspects of cricket. All the young players showed significant improvements and a passion for the game.

It is always exciting when talented young players, who have practised hard at the School, get selected to represent their county. Hannah Lemon, Josh Porter, George Gowler and W illiam Gowler were all selected to play for Cambridgeshire across various age groups. In addition, Pheonix Sherry was selected to play for Norfolk. Boys’ Under 15, 14 and 13 age groups all had good seasons. U15 highlights were wins against Gresham’s School and Ratcliffe College. U14’s highlight was a win over Spalding Grammar. U13 highlights were wins against Langley School and Beeston Hall. Girls Under 15, 14 and 13 age groups had successful seasons. The U15 and U14 highlights were a win over Culford School. Girls U13 highlight was a win over Oundle.


Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l



Sport Pu p i ls b ow l ed over by vis it a n d part nersh ip w ith N or t h a n t s C C C

Ru g b y ro u n du p

Both Rob and I were extremely impressed with the School’s talented players, both boys and girls, and also the facilities surprised us as we didn’t realise the School could host nine games of cricket from home. The atmosphere and culture at Wisbech Gramma r School has certainly left us both feeling very proud to be part of this exciting venture.

Mr P h il Rowe, N o r t h an t s C o un ty C r ic ket

Wisbech Grammar School has signed a School Partnership Agreement with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, which will provide more opportunities for its talented young players to access a professional club.

There is no doubt cricket in this area is very strong, but I wanted to give our young cricketers the best opportunity by creating distinct player pathways to the first-class game. This is a really exciting time to be a young cricketer at Wisbech Grammar School, with the opportunities created by this new partnership.

To launch the new partnership, we welcomed Northants coach Phil Rowe and opening bat Robert Newton. Phil Rowe and Robert Newton offered their expertise and inspiration in their coaching sessions with pupils, who were very enthusiastic and showed some real talent for the game. The day was a fantastic opportunity for pupils to show off their skills and be inspired by professional cricketers. KLFM’s Simon and Lisa also joined in the coaching sessions and had a go batting and bowling. Simon was certainly impressed at our pupils’ enthusiasm and he even managed to hit a few balls.


Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

M r N e i l Tayl o r, H ead o f C r i c k e t

It was an extremely busy and successful season for Wisbech Grammar School rugby, for both the XVs and VIIs sides, as well as for individuals who went on to achieve representative honours. 1st XV recognition The 1st XV returned from their USA tour to win 10 of their 12 fixtures, including victories over opposition with far greater resources such as Worksop College (36–7) and Ratcliffe College (15–12), and wins over the traditional opposition King’s Ely (59–10) and Spalding Grammar (28–7). The pick of the performances, however, saw them beating Woodbridge 61–0. These results and performances, coupled with their VIIs success, made them runners-up for the Emerging Schools Team of the Year award. Off the field, the 1st XV also raised £2,000 for Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity for rugby, by organising a dinner and a sponsored bike ride.

A promising future Further down the School saw exceptional performances and continuous improvement from across the age groups. The U12A team won nine out of 12 games, including victories over Norwich, Oundle and Worksop, and the U12B team kept the pressure on their A-team counterparts. The U13A side arguably showed the most improvement from August to December while the U14s developed a good brand of running rugby, helping them to an impressive second half of the season. The U15s and Greyhounds sides continued to punch above their weight and ensure a strong senior set up this year. Five Prep School teams took on a strong fixture card, making the future bright for W isbech Grammar School rugby.

He said: ‘My perception of the School was completely different to what I have seen today and the opportunities the pupils have at W isbech Grammar School are certainly impressive. I was blown away with their behaviour and attitude!’ Last year, we ran 16 cricket teams, with the 1st XI team remaining unbeaten for the season. Several girls are trialling for their respective counties and many young players represent Cambridge and Norfolk.

W isbech Grammar School has also just started working with local primary schools, which coaches will visit to deliver one-hour sports coaching, sharing their expertise and passion. The School is always keen to form closer relationships in the community and to inspire the next generation of young athletes!

Oliv er Man n , Jac k Tr un dley an d Bradley H utler

H en ry M a ir a nd Geo rge Da d y

Rugby VIIs successes In the VIIs season, the focus was on the Rosslyn Park National Schools VIIs Tournament in the final week of the term. The 1st VII and U14s VII both nearly qualified for the second day, narrowly missing out to RGS Newcastle and RGS Colchester respectively. The 1st VII recorded impressive wins over Reed’s School, UCS and King’s Bruton, while the U14s took an almighty scalp as they beat rugby powerhouse Dulwich College. Poor weather disrupted the U13s competition while the U16s and Girls competed in tough draws, with the 16s facing Eton College and The Worth and the Girls coming up against last year’s runners-up, Sir Thomas Picton, and this year’s semi-finalists Reigate Grammar. In the lead up to Rosslyn Park, the 1st VII won our own VIIs tournament and were runners-up in the floodlit version two weeks later, while the Girls 1st VII were runners-up in their home tournament as well.

Individual achievements Easter break didn’t stop the rugby for a number of our players. Henry Mair went into camp with Scottish Exiles, before joining the Lambs U16s at the end of their tour, while George Dady toured with the Lambs U16s as they played a three-game series versus Scotland in North Wales. The pick of the games was when Henry’s Scotland side faced George’s Lambs side, with Henry taking bragging rights in a 14–10 win (two tries each). Further afield, Oliver Mann, Jack Trundley and Bradley Hutler all toured with the Lambs U18s to Croatia and Italy. All three started the two international games, against Croatia U19s and Italy U19s B, where they won 99–0 and lost 21–50 respectively. Easter also saw George Lemon in camp with Scottish Exiles U18s and a number of junior pupils involved in the Leicester T igers and Northampton Saints Developing Player Programme (DPP) end-of-season tournaments.



The 1st XV rugby team competes for the England Rugby Travel Emerging Team of the Season

A re p o r t b y A n g u s Sava ge , f o u n d e r o f o n l in e r u g b y m a ga z in e F i f t ee n Ru g b y. For the England Rugby Travel Emerging Team of the Season, we were pipped to the post by Hayes, and this was Angus’ update:

An e xcitin g game of r un n in g r ug by On 7 October 2017, 101 pupils and 11 staff from Wisbech Grammar School travelled to London to face Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School in a block of seven fixtures. Played in the shadows of Twickenham, the fixtures kicked off with the U12A, U12B, U13A and the Greyhounds. Those pupils could then watch the U14As and U15As when they kicked off an hour later, before all the teams watched the 1st XV take on Cardinal Vaughan in an exciting game of running rugby. The 1st XV game saw W ill Gowler score a hat-trick of tries, with George Lemon and Frazer Brown both scoring a brace and Bradley Hutler and Jack Trundley adding their own scores. Oliver Mann had a great day with the boot, kicking eight from nine, leading to the 1st XV running out 61–12 winners. They played some exceptional rugby, with the pick of the tries coming as forwards Jack Clingo and Henry Mair combined to create the line break before Trundley was set free, offloading to George Lemon on the left-hand side scored from 60m out, the try was just reward for the ambition and execution of the team in gold and red hoops.

After the fixtures, all the pupils and staff headed down the road to Richmond Athletic Ground to be part of a 2,000-strong crowd supporting the home side. W ith Richmond running out 31–15 victors, their 1st XV captain invited the pupils onto the pitch to be photographed with the squad and sign autographs.

This is always an excellent trip. The day is a great showcase of the strength of the School community alongside the role that the rugby teams play in that community. The 1st XV pupils were particularly impressive today as role models both on and off the field.

“The Bromley School beat off some fierce competition in the likes of Kingswood, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Reed’s, New Hall, and in particular a fantastic W isbech Grammar School side that have produced some stunning rugby with sparse resources this year… [They] were engaged in a battle royale with Hayes in the public vote as the two schools secured 73% of the vote between them. W ith just 366 pupils in their school, their performances have been truly remarkable, particularly given that just 36 play rugby in 6th Form. 12 wins from 10 was a remarkable return, as shown by the fact that the likes of Scotland international Ali Price and a number of England’s Red Roses voted for them in the poll… It was a close call as both [teams] have had remarkable years. Hayes enjoy a significant advantage in terms of sheer numbers of W isbech, yet in terms of rugby numbers both are relatively even.”

Just to be shortlisted in such prestigious company is an accolade in itself, but I am delighted that we also managed to come runnerup, securing 33% of the public vote. The results and performances this season are the reward of years of hard work from the pupils and all the staff who have assisted in their development along the way, both on and off the field. I would like to thank everyone for their support during the XVs and VIIs season and congratulate the players once again on their magnificent achievement.

Mr A lex La ybo urn e, Hea d o f Rugby

Wisbech Grammar School had a stunning season, winning 10 of their 12 fixtures, including victories over opposition with far greater resources, such as Worksop College. They also secured three wins from four on their tour of the USA. Wisbech have just 36 rugby players in the School, from a possible pool of 62, so a season of such success is a huge achievement. They followed that 15-a-side performance onto the VIIs field, where they lost just two of their 13 games, a run that included them winning their own VIIs tournament, and finishing as runnersup to Bedford in their own Floodlit VIIs tournament, beating the likes of Uppingham and Berkhamsted en route.

M r A l e x Layb o u r n e , H ead o f Ru g b y


Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l



Sport N ort h ampto n Sain t s R F C

A rc h e r y s u cce ss f o r WG S p u p i l s

Wisbech Grammar School has worked closely with Northampton Saints RFC this year and have hosted the Saints U13 festivals which was a great success.

Wisbech Grammar School Archery Team had a very successful day on 11 February at the Cambridgeshire County Championships and Jolly Archers Competition. Nerves got the better of the team at the beginning of the competition, but they managed to overcome this and went for gold.

As well as this, we have also hosted Saints U13 Development Player Pathway sessions and Saints Rugby Development Manager Simon Leader has taken sessions at the School.

We are very pleased to be working in partnership with WGS and we are excited about the facilities the School has to offer young people. The recent Easter Camp was a great success.

M r S i m o n Leade r, Ru g b y De v e l o pm en t Man ager, N o r th ampton Sain ts

W ith Laura Wright (5th Form) ready to raise her game, she was entered into the Over 18 category by School archery coach, Sean Fox, giving her the opportunity to compete against much more experienced archers. She won gold, becoming Cambridgeshire County Champion for Ladies Compound. Thomas Fox (2nd Form) won the Under 18 Gents Compound and retained his Cambridgeshire County Champion title for Junior Gents Compound. Millie Oram (Lower 6th Form) won the Under 18 Ladies Barebow and is now Cambridgeshire County Champion for Junior Ladies Barebow. Amy Everall (Lower 6th Form) won the Under 18 Ladies Compound and is now Cambridgeshire County Champion for Junior Ladies’ Compound.

Thomas, Amy, and Laura also won gold for the Cambridgeshire County Compound team. The team also competed in the Jolly Archers Competition, which is open to all counties. Once again, W isbech Grammar School archers came away with impressive results. Thomas Fox won gold in the Under 18 Gents Compound, Millie Oram won gold in the Under 18 Ladies Barebow, Amy Everall won gold in the Under 18 Ladies Compound and Laura Wright won gold in the over 18 Ladies Compound.

We are very proud of all our competitors and their successes at this competition. T hey demonstrated a high standard of archery and conducted themselv es extremely well. We are looking forward to entering more competiti ons this year.

M r Sea n Fo x, A rch ery



Sport National Speed-Skating Championships In March, 5th Formers Eve and Lucy McInerney took part in the National Speed-skating Championships. After months of intensive training with their coach, who is also their father, the sisters headed off to Maldon.

Ro ss C l a r ke co mp e t e s w i t h G B Un de r 1 6 s i ce h o c ke y s q u a d

Their first race, a 100m ‘Dobbin sprint’, saw Eve achieve the second-fastest time. Then the girls moved on to the second race, a 500m competition over six laps; Eve again achieved second place and Lucy third in what was described as a very close race. Then came the 1500m over 16 laps, where Eve and Lucy achieved second and third respectively, before taking part in the senior female relay. Two teams closed in on the McInerney sisters, but they were no match for these determined girls, who lapped them during the race, slicing a massive 30 seconds off the national record. Eve now holds seven national records and Lucy took her first national record.

Eve and Lucy McInerney The sisters are off to Portugal and Germany in the coming months to increase their speed-skating experience.

Shi p ley sel ected to represen t E n gl a n d Wisbech Grammar School 3rd Form pupil Lewis Shipley was selected in early 2018 to play for the England U16 football team against Croatia in Zagreb. This is a tremendous achievement for Lewis, who played with boys two years older than him and is a reward for all of the hard work that he is put in over the last few years. He is a member of the Norwich City Academy and he plays regularly for its U15 team. We are incredibly proud of Lewis, who has worked hard to balance his academic work alongside playing for Norwich City. He has also managed to fit in playing rugby, hockey and cricket for School, as well as competing for the county athletics team.


Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

When Great Britain Ice Hockey Under 16s named their squad for a junior tournament in April, we were thrilled to learn that 5th Former Ross ‘Rinkrat’ Clarke, an ice hockey defender with the Peterborough Phantoms, was selected.

This is such an achievement! We are incredibly proud that Ross has been selected for the GB squad, and we wish him every success.

Mr C h r is Staley, H eadmaster

Ross started playing ice hockey with the Peterborough Junior Phantoms in 2011 and in 2012 was selected to play for the South East U11 team, playing in his first national tournament. Since then, he has gone from strength to strength, including participating in the final England squad training match in Sheffield in 2016.

Ross’ ultimate selection for the squad depended on his performance in that trial match, a week later Ross received a letter from the English Ice Hockey Association to congratulate him for being selected for the 2016 England National Team. From representing England to being selected for the Great Britain Under 16s squad is a very positive move for Ross and everyone at W isbech Grammar School is inspired by his determination to succeed.

I feel really honoured to be playing for my nation and I’m looking forward to be going on a new journey into international ice hockey.

Ro ss Cla rke, Engla nd Na t io na l Tea m.



Food & Nutrition An evening with Brian Turner Wisbech Grammar School is leading the way in offering unique dining experiences to the local community and further afield, with celebrity chefs visiting to cook stunning cuisine in pop-up restaurants, in conjunction with Seasoned By Chefs, a top online food magazine. After the incredible success of Cyrus Todiwala’s Indian banquet evening in November 2017, we were thrilled to welcome Brian Turner to host an exciting evening celebration of British food in May. Visitors were welcomed with Prosecco and canapes, and then enjoyed a sumptuous four-course dinner. After service, Brian chatted with the guests. Brian trained at Simpson’s in the Strand, The Savoy, The Beau Rivage in Lausanne and Claridge’s. In 1971 he opened the kitchens of the Capital Hotel with Richard Shepherd, where they won a then-rare Michelin star. In 1986 Brian established his own restaurant, Turner’s in Chelsea before opening restaurants in Birmingham, Mayfair and even at Butlins in Bognor Regis.

We h ad a br i l l ia nt time a t the C y rus To d i wal a ev en i ng. . . the f o o d wa s great , the am bi en ce wa s pe rf ec t, a nd the view a c ro ss t h e g ro unds to o k o ur brea th away. I t f elt l ike we we re in a to p L o n do n re s t au ra nt, no t in a sc ho o l.


Mr a nd Mrs W, S pa l d i ng

Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

Indian banquet night We were honoured to have Cyrus Todiwala OBE come to Wisbech Grammar School to work with pupils to prepare and cook a Parsee banquet. Cyrus owns and runs Café Spice Namaste in London. He is known for his refined, elegantly spiced and sophisticated dishes, cooking across the world for royalty, celebrities and presidents.

Between each course, Cyrus came out and talked to guests and had photos taken with the diners. The main course was chicken, part-roasted then simmered in a sauce flavoured with organic Hunza apricots, served with spiced and lightly caramelised onion rice, and fried potatoes sprinkled with spices. For dessert, guest enjoyed a Parsee-style baked wedding custard flavoured with cardamom, nutmeg and rose, with pistachio ice cream. It was a highly entertaining evening with exceptional food.

Cyrus is passionate about promoting the hospitality industry and works hard to inspire future chefs, so it was a fantastic opportunity for pupils to work alongside him to cook for and serve the 90 guests who came to enjoy the evening. The evening began with a drink served with canapès of samosas filled with stewed vegetables, Parsee-style, and spiced onion pakoras. Once everyone was seated, Cyrus gave a fascinating speech about the menu that would be served and the inspiration behind it, including Parsee culture.

Guests were treated to a starter of fish wrapped in fresh coconut chutney, rolled in banana leaf and steamed, served with mixed leaves and crisp chapati salad. This was followed by a delicious tomato soup with deep-fried boiled egg.



Food, Glorious Food! There are so many opportunities to get involved with Food at WGS. As well as attending the many events, there are many clubs and sessions where pupils can roll up there sleeves and learn many new skills. Firepit Cookery One sunny June evening the Grow, Cook, Eat Club ventured out to W isbech St Mary to take part in an outdoor cookery session. After some delicious Rocky Road on arrival our hosts, Jan W ildman and Pam Sloat, talked us through the jobs for the evening. Parents had been invited to arrive at 6pm for a dinner cooked by us over the fire, so the pressure was on. The group put themselves into teams. One team prepared new potatoes and these were put over the fire to cook. Meanwhile, coleslaw was made, fruit was prepared and herbs were freshly picked from the border and chopped. Another team marinaded chicken in almond butter and spices, then skewered it ready for cooking. Salmon was rubbed with freshly picked dill and fennel, seasoned and wrapped in foil. At 6pm parents began to arrive and were served with Pimms filled with cucumber, mint and strawberries; this was followed by the most delicious feast and rounded off with a pavlova covered in crème fraiche and strawberry syrup.

Aga Cookery Workshop The Grow, Cook, Eat Club were invited to an Aga Cookery workshop by fellow foodies, and friends of the club, Jan W ildman and Pam Sloat. The group were given a short talk on how an Aga works and how to use the ovens, boiling and simmering plates. The group were then able to produce a feast using the different elements of the cooker. First toast was made on the boiling plate and served with jam. Pancakes were made on the simmering plate and served with lemon and sugar. A Cauliflower and Chick Pea curry was created and served with rice and broccoli. To finish Jan had premade a Pavlova base which the club topped with cream, rhubarb and tangerines. Washed down with elderflower cordial, everyone enjoyed the feast around the large table discussing ideas for future food events. We were ably assisted by Monty and Jester the two Labradors who are particularly looking forward to the outdoor cookery session.

Food & Nutrition

Every pupil took part in kneading their own bread base, before topping it with tomato paste, cheese, sweetcorn and peppers.

A taste of Italy comes to Prep School On a beautiful sunny summers day the prep school spent the day out by the wood fired pizza oven making pizzas. The outdoor oven was fired up early in the morning and once a roaring fire had heated up the inside to 300 degrees Celsius pizzas were cooked, each one taking no more than a minute. Prep school pupils came, with the youngest children from reception, prep1, prep2 and prep 3 being helped by the older children from prep 4, 5 and 6. Every pupil took part in kneading their own bread base, before topping it with tomato paste, cheese, sweetcorn and peppers. They were then able to watch it being slid into the oven on the peels and cook in the flames of the oven. As if by magic, just seconds later the pizzas were removed from the oven, sliced and served to the pupils who were able to sit on the grass and enjoy a freshly made, wood fired pizza. It was a fantastic day, all the pupils agreed that their pizzas were some of the best they had tasted!


Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l



Arts A-Le vel A rt a n d Text il es Exh ibit ion This year’s A-Level Art and Textiles exhibition was on display in the Skelton Hall, which proved to be an excellent venue and comments full of praise have been received about the outstanding quality of work on show from pupils, staff and visitors. As always, the Art and Textiles departments encouraged ambitious projects. Zara Jutsum’s large-scale oil painting and installation of a boat wreck spilled out from the painting onto the floor as though the painting itself was wrecked. Eden Cooper’s textural trees stood out magnificently in their white exhibition space. It was hard to miss the three printed fabric panels by Lianne Goates because of the sheer size and, of course, their visual impact. Dina Aldrich produced finely detailed paintings and both she and Jennifer Ross exhibited a strong array of screen fabrics for interiors. Matilda Suiter and Helena Parkinson presented innovative fashion using a combination of construction, stitch and collage. Ran Tai experimented creatively with a range of paint, print and collage techniques inspired by her cultural heritage. She also worked on unusual surfaces such as light bulbs and a desk. Harriet Munson demonstrated an innovative approach with her textile installation developed from fragmented tiles and laser cutting combined with print for her exam response to the theme of ‘space’. An evening viewing of the exhibition on Friday 22 June allowed guests to have a glass of wine and talk to the artists about their work. Many friends and relatives viewed not only the final pieces, but also the portfolios that showed all the preparation for them. One visitor said he was amazed by the standards achieved and left the exhibition ‘buzzing with ideas’.

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I continue to be i n s pired by the s t an da rd o f wo rk pro du ced by Art a nd Textile pupils.

Mr Mi ck S t u m p, Hea d of Art

Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

GCSE Art and Textile Exhibition The summer Term saw the first exhibition of GCSE Art and Textile work in the Skelton Hall as a new venue. This enabled the department to keep the exhibition in situ for friends and family as well as moderation later in the term. Pupils took a great deal of care and effort to present their coursework and set task responses. This culminated in a well-attended Private View and was a fitting way to finish the course. Work on display ranged from coordinating fabric prints, textile collages, fashion design and resist silk pieces in Textiles to large scale paintings and Photography in Fine Art. All pupils thoroughly deserved the very positive comments from pupils, parents and visitors alike which reflected the hard work and ambitious nature of the projects undertaken. Many pupils have expressed their intention to continue to A Level next academic year – so watch this space! We look forward to inviting you to attend the 2019 GCSE Exhibition in May and the A level in June next year.

Huge ly t ale nt ed pupils cont inue t o re v eal t h e ir art is t ic s kills across a range of creat iv e art s , g raph ics and t e xt ile s in impre ss iv e e xh ibit ions .

Ms Susan Cooper, Art and Textiles teach er



Arts C e le bratin g o ur C om m un it y Tim Mann’s ‘Crowded Room’ Wisbech project was a truly collaborative process which used contemporary art practice to celebrate the importance of the individual and their place in the community. The ‘Crowded Room’ W isbech project took twenty days to complete over six weeks during the autumn of 2017. T im worked with more than thirty schools and organisations and also staged public events, exploring different art practices and encouraging individuals to form a contemporary portrait of the town. People who live, work or study in W isbech, as well as visitors to the town, have taken part in this experience, led by T im. The final portrait features more than 10,000 people and tells a story about a moment in time in W isbech. The pupils and staff of W isbech Grammar School were proud to take part in this project and as well as appearing in the main portrait, they also created a unique picture using their hands as a marker.

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Tim Clayton Jewellery LTD

Art and Textiles trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The world’s leading museum of Art and Design.

21-23 Chapel Street, King’s Lynn www.timclaytonjewellery.com | tel: 01553 772329 RIVERLINE 2018


Languages L ang uage A mb a ssa d or s orga n is e L ang uage Festival for Prep S c h ool pupils

A f ea s t o f E a s t e r n E u ro p ea n de l i ghts Pupils, parents, staff and friends were treated to a delightful cultural evening on 13 September, which saw the School’s first Eastern European evening. Featuring poetry and singing in Russian and Polish, this was an exciting opportunity for some pupils to perform in their mother tongue, as well as to teach others some basic words and phrases. Head of Food and Nutrition, Alison Sloan, ably assisted by her pupils, cooked a delicious feast of vibrant red Polish borscht soup, Russian pancakes with a beef and mushroom filling and Russian salad and rye bread, followed by apple strudel and plum cake. The adults washed it down with Polish beers and Lithuanian and Russian wines.

Our Prep School pupils had the opportunity to practice their language skills in an exciting Language Festival on 9 February, which was planned and run by our senior pupils as part of the Language Ambassadors scheme.

We had the idea of the disco as we wanted to support Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (‘Our Little Brothers’), a charity looking after orphans in Latin America, which we found out about during our Period 5 enrichment lessons. It is also grea t to see our Prep and Senior pupils getting behind the project and enjoy some Hispanic music and food.

Mr Je s t i n, Hea d of L a ngu a ge s ( L ow e r S ch ool )


Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

The children were involved in an array of small workshops all aiming at boosting their oral confidence and practising their language skills to reinforce their language lessons. They played bingo, ordered French food at the Café Français, were taught a few steps of flamenco in Spanish, played ‘Simon Says’ in German and sang some karaoke songs. Later, the fun continued with a fast-paced and exciting Hispanic disco organised by Mr Jestin and his Spanish Club. They planned all the event’s details, such as baking churros and making non-alcoholic sangria as well as learning a few dance moves.

This was a truly magical evening, with pupils of all ages able to celebrate their culture with their family and the School community. I feel as if I have just travelled to Russia and Poland in the space of a few hours! I was delighted by the confidence of our pupils to not only perform in their mother tongue but also teach us a little language and culture. They were beaming with pride and shone this evening.

Mr s Neigh b our, H ead of L anguages

I am looking forward to many more events like these, which enable our pupils to develop their talents in singing, public speaking, cooking and more.

Mrs A Sloan, Head of Food and Nutrition



Trips & Visits

The trip has certainly inspired me to travel more and the sights of Iceland have taken my breath away.

G eo g ra p h e r s i n I ce l a n d

I zzy, 5th Form pu pil

Tectonics, glaciers, waterfalls and breath taking scenery were what made the trip to Iceland memorable! 5th and 6th Form pupils had the amazing opportunity to visit Iceland to enrich their geographical learning and experience first hand all that Iceland has to offer. Friday 13th April

Sunday 15th April

As we boarded the coach in Keflavik, vast expanses of lava fields created an eerie image of jagged rocks against the grey sky. The sulphuric smell of rotten eggs became stronger as we neared hot springs. We spent the next couple of hours visiting the bridge between two continents – part of the boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates.

After another hearty waffle breakfast, we went to the village of Hverageroi, in a 5,000-year-old lava field. The naturally occurring hot springs provided a constant source of hot water for heating, cooking, baking and laundry. We had a go in an earthquake simulator to ‘experience’ the 6.6 earthquake which hit the area in 2008.

At lunchtime we arrived in Iceland’s tiny capital, Reykjavik, where we took a guided walk to observe the architectural styles, culture and development. After our tour, we visited a geothermal power plant which provides electricity and hot water to Reykjavik and surrounding communities, making heating bills almost non-existent.

Saturday 14th April After a hearty breakfast of homemade waffles, we set out for Skogafoss waterfall, whose waters thundered into a pool below. From here we went to Solheimajokull glacier. W ith crampons, helmets and ice axes, we walked onto the glacier, where we were treated to some amazing views, but also found out about the rapid retreat of the glaciers in Iceland. Then we made our way to Iceland’s most southerly village, Vik, before viewing the huge cliffs, black sands and towering basalt columns of Reynishverfi beach. From here we continued to Seljalandsfoss waterfall – 65 metres high with a footpath behind it at the bottom of the cliff. Nearby was a smaller, hidden, waterfall where some of us walked through a narrow gorge on stepping stones to witness its spectacular cascade.


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Later, we climbed Stora-Dimon, a small volcano that rises dramatically 178 metres above the flat outwash plain. The day continued at another waterfall and then at the new Lava Centre, where we learnt about Iceland’s tectonic activity, used interactive displays and saw live seismic data.

Monday 16th April After yet more waffles, we packed our swimwear and headed to the secret lagoon to bathe in the 38–40 degree water from the natural hot springs. Gullfoss (The Golden Waterfall) was our next stop. We walked alongside it, observing the power of the glacial meltwater. From there we headed to Geysir, a geothermal area with hot springs and geysers. The rapid heating of the spring water showed how thin the crust was below our feet. After that, we undertook an in-depth investigation into diversification of a dairy farm and sampled its zero foodmiles outputs. In other words, we visited an ice cream farm and ate lots of ice cream! We finished our adventure at Thingvellir National Park, a rift valley, where we walked down the fissure to see the result of sea-floor spreading at the edges of both the North American and Eurasian plates.



Trips & Visits French Trip 2018

Fa i za n - e - M a di n a M o s q u e v i s i t

Monday 26 March at 3.30am a group of bleary eyed pupils and staff departed WGS for France. The journey to the Chateau went really smoothly, and we stopped around midday in Boulogne-Sur-Mer to visit Nausicaá.

Prep 6 recently visited the Faizan-eMadina Mosque in Peterborough. They spent the morning looking around the building, learning about the five pillars of Islam. Their guide Imam Hafiz, shared his knowledge of Islam and told them all about his visit to Mecca for Haji.

We spent Tuesday visiting the Mont Saint Michel and its Abbey. Everybody appreciated the long walk to the Mont as the weather was on our side; the visit went well, and both pupils and staff enjoyed some free time. Wednesday was a hectic day as we started with the Bayeux market followed by the visit of the Bayeux Tapestry. In the afternoon we visited the sunny beach of Arromanches where we discussed D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. After lunch, we watched the film on the 100 days of Normandy at the circular cinema of Arromanches. This was thought-provoking for the pupils. We left the Chateau at 8.30am on Thursday, and we arrived in Disneyland Paris where the pupils clearly enjoyed themselves, and so did the staff.

On Friday we went to the Trocadéro and then stopped at the Eiffel Tower. Our visit to Paris then brought us to the Louvre where we had the opportunity to see the iconic painting, the Mona Lisa, The W inged Victory of Samothrace and The Wedding at Cana among other things.

6th-Form Induction Day

Pupils were able to visit the wash facilities and the Madrassa area, and Hafiz showed the children the different holy texts and the Koran. He explained how the mosque has five daily prayer times and demonstrated where he would stand to lead prayers. Afterwards, everyone had a drink and a snack and were able to ask questions. Hafiz thanked the children for their visit and said he had really enjoyed meeting them and helping to find answers to their questions about the Islamic faith.


On 27 June, the current 5th Form, Lower 6th Form and next year’s new starters embarked on an induction day aimed at strengthening and developing leadership and teamwork skills while getting to know each other better ahead of the new academic year. Pupils were divided into their new form groups to take part in a range of leadership activities, orienteering and a raft-building competition, all run by experts Adventure Rutland. In the sweltering heat, the raft-building went down a treat, and the pupils seemed to have fewer issues with falling into the lake than they might have done on a cooler day! The orienteering and leadership activities further stretched the pupils (and their tutors) beyond their comfort zones. After five hours of activities, the day was rounded off with a barbeque and some presentations by the instructors. James Kerry, Tom Brown, Molly Sears, Mermaid Sandleson and Jack Trundey all came away with special mentions.


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fine homes

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Trips & Visits A trip back in time to the battlefields of World War I This study tour was designed to improve the understanding of 3rd and 4th Form pupils of the issues raised by the First World War. However, any visit to Flanders, where there are dozens of cemeteries for fallen soldiers, is not just historical. It also carries moral dimensions, as the sheer numbers involved becomes clear. Some ten million men died on the Western Front alone. The trip began at Ypres, the main town from which British volunteers and conscripts marched to the frontlines along the Menin Road, and where the Menin Gate now displays names of 55,000 British and Commonwealth war dead who have no other grave. Among them is CP Maxey, a former pupil of W isbech Grammar School and relative of W ill Smithee. The group also visited the largest cemetery for British war dead at Tyne Cot, where Sophie Mosedale (3rd Form) and W ill Smithee (4th Form) laid a wreath while the group watched and observed a minute’s silence. Another ex-W isbech Grammar School pupil’s name is inscribed on the wall at Tyne Cot – that of SWW Hercock. The British cemeteries are intended to be reminiscent of an English country garden, and so the Arras war graves are planted with red roses and small flowering plants. Here, pupils wandered along the pristine rows of white headstones and reflected on the terrible waste of so many young men lost in action. They did this, too, at Langemarck cemetery for the German soldiers, which contrasts starkly with those built for the British, with its mass graves, black headstones and darkly wooded interior.

The largest memorial is at Thiepval, pupils briefly stopped here after touring the remains of wartime trenches near the Ulster Tower memorial and seeing the enormous hilltop crater at Lochnagar, which was created after an underground tunnel was blown up. The group also visited some of the museums that have sprung up in recent years, such as the Flanders Field Museum in Ypres’ Cloth Hall and the Passchendaele Museum, where artillery shells and gas canisters were presented in the eerie blue light of a cocktail cabinet. Pupils had the chance to try out some of the equipment of the era too, for example by wearing hard hats at the Arras Museum, which is based in an underground quarry, and at the Passchendaele Museum. Perhaps the most breathtaking site, however, was the four-pillared memorial at Vimy Ridge, where Canadian troops fought with enormous courage against an enemy occupying the high ground. The trip was both educational and profound, and great thanks must go to Mr Emerson (Head of History) for organising it.

Tyne Cot (Belgium)

The largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world.


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Trips & Visits Ski Trip to Bardonecchia

1st Form pupils take a trip to Ely Cathedral

Saturday 10 February, 56 pupils from across both Prep and Senior School set off to Bardonecchia in Italy, which hosted the Downhill and Slalom events for the 2016 Turin Olympics.

As the w eek pro gressed, the s kills o f the w ho l e group i m pro ved and al l t h ree gro ups jo i ned th e advanced ski er s hig h e r up the m o untain.

Mr Phil Webb, Director of Sport

After a days’ travelling the pupils arrived at Bardonecchia and checked into the Villagio Olympic Hotel, the actual complex where the Athletes stayed whilst competing in the Turin W inter Olympics skiing events, which took place at Bardonecchia. After being kitted out with their skis and getting a good night’s sleep before rising early on Sunday morning to take to the slopes. Pupils were split into advanced, intermediate and beginner groups and started to take on the various challenges on the mountain. The beginners started on the nursery slopes and for some of the staff, the challenge was simply to stand up and go down the slope on their skis. The intermediate groups went higher up the mountain onto the blue runs. On the second day, the advanced group took on the challenge of one of the Olympic runs and all negotiated the test successfully.

As the week progressed, the skills of the whole group improved and all three groups joined the advanced skiers higher up the mountain.

The advanced skiers were able to take on the most challenging slopes on the mountain. After an exciting weeks skiing everyone returned to WGS on Saturday 17 February tired but happy to see their parents after the week away on the slopes.

On 30 November, the whole of the 1st Form spent the afternoon at Ely Cathedral. They took part in various activities, from learning all about the history of music in the cathedral, to finding out all about the magnificent cathedral organ, as well as having a singing lesson from one of the cathedral choir teachers, and thoroughly testing out the acoustics in the Lady Chapel. They rounded the day off by attending the magical Evensong service; pupils were absolutely captivated and inspired by the singing of the choir.

Prep 6 Visit to York 5-7 March 2018 On Monday 5 March, Prep 6 pupils set off on their adventure to visit York. Their first stop was The National Railway Museum and then the pupils attended workshops on ‘Forces’ and the second workshop was all about speed and the development of transport through time and the increasing speeds passenger transport can now reach.

On Tuesday they spent a full day in York on visiting York Minster and discovered more about the history and structure of the Church of England. After lunch, they went to York Art Gallery and discovered the paintings of Paul Nash and LS Lowry before working with pencil chalks and watercolours to create their own perspective style painting. Wednesday morning everyone was up early and on the road for a visit to The Workhouse at Southall. Pupils found out about what life was like for Victorian boys and girls who were poor and the hardships they faced in the workhouse.

Pupils le f t f ee li n g ve ry luck y an d p leased to be goi n g hom e to the i r famili e s. The tri p was a g reat su cce ss an d three words that b e st d e scri b ed t h e e xp e ri e n ce w e re ; educati on al, thou ght provoki n g an d f u n .

Mrs A Kelly, Prep 6 teach er


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Trips & Visits A thought-provoking trip to Germany and Poland

Rocks rock!

The Psycholog y, History, German and Government and Politics departments joined forces in December to take 26 pupils to Germany and Poland. By travelling overland from Berlin to Warsaw and then on to Krakow, pupils began to understand the sheer distances involved when people were ‘resettled’ to the East (taken to extermination camps). Stopping at Warsaw allowed the opportunity to see the Palace of Culture, built by Stalin. Our time in Krakow was spent admiring the Old Town, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a beautiful medieval square, made even more attractive by the Christmas lights. Pupils were taken to the former Jewish district Kazimierz, a synagogue and a Jewish graveyard, learning about what life was like before and after the war. We also visited Schindler’s factory and the Galicja Jewish Museum, which features personal stories and replica ghetto walls.

Starting in Berlin, pupils visited the Berlin Wall memorial and learnt about the Cold War and what life was like in East Berlin. After watching videos about how difficult it was to cross from the East to West, and learning about creative escape attempts at Checkpoint Charlie, the group was given a guided tour of the old STASI prison, where people who rebelled against Soviet control were physically and psychologically tortured. It was at this point that the reality and brutality of the regime really became obvious. This element of the trip finished with a walking tour by a local guide who described the fall of Communism. Now looking at Nazi Germany, visited the 1936 Olympic Stadium, imagining Hitler showcasing the supposed superiority of the Aryan race while, in contrast, seeing black athlete Jesse Owens’s name engraved on the gold-medal plate. We continued the journey by visiting Sachsenhausen, just 15 minutes from the centre of Berlin. This was the model for concentration camps across Europe and where human experiments took place. Before leaving Germany, we visited the Jewish Museum and numerous memorials, including the sombre memorial to the murdered Jews, which covers 19,000 square metres and comprises 2,711 concrete blocks. Inside, a number of walk-in installations are dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. Finally, we visited the Reichstag, Hitler’s bunker, the Brandenburg Gate and a few of the world-famous Christmas market stalls.


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The most poignant part of the week was a six-hour guided tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau, followed by a talk from Lidia Maksymowicz, who was imprisoned in Auschwitz for two years as one of Dr Mengele’s experimentees, because her family had been accused of talking to the Polish resistance. She spoke about day-to-day life in the camp, being adopted after liberation by a local Polish couple and later, lining up dolls and sending them off to either the gas chambers or the barracks, as if it was a normal activity.

“ ” Seeing the extermination camp where Lidia lived and then hearing a first-hand account of the emotions involved, and the recurring nightmares she still has, will always stay with us.

Prep 3 visited Stibbington Day Centre on 16 March for their ‘Rocks and Soils’ Science topic. They carried out rock investigations, including sorting rock samples according to features such as appearance and texture, using microscopes to aid observation and classify into igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. They also tested for permeability and hardness to identify suitable rocks for different purposes. Finally, the simulated soil-forming processes. They also visited a nearby disused limestone quarry to discover how rock was formed under the sea and to hunt for fossil evidence of creatures that lived in Jurassic times. The day ended with the children learning the Cambridgeshire Environmental Education Service’s ‘Rock Song’.

An active weekend at Norfolk Lakes Adventure Centre for 1st Form pupils At the end of September 2017, the 1st Form returned, tired, but with amazing memories of a fantastic weekend. The centre once again lived up to its name of Adventure Centre, with plenty of opportunity to get wet for those pupils that wanted to. In fact, many of the 1st Form seemed to want to spend more time in the water than on the boats or rafts! Apologies to those parents whose pupils came home with a black bag full of wet clothes. There was a wide range of activities for pupils to practise old skills and acquire new ones, from sailing and raftbuilding to climbing, caving, rifle shooting, high ropes, an obstacle course and more besides. As always, it was great to see pupils get stuck in and work together. Team building and supporting each other are all part of this fantastic learning opportunity, which is offered to all new 1st-Form pupils joining the School.



Trips & Visits Art trip to New York 2018 Have you ever tried to see everything that New York has to offer in just four days? That is exactly what the Art Department trip to New York did at the start of the Easter holiday. The School broke up for the holiday just after 4pm, and 12 hours later three staff (Mr Stump, Mrs Cooper and Mrs Feaviour) and 23 bleary-eyed 4th, 5th and Lower 6th Form pupils boarded a plane to head off to the Big Apple. The trip was amazing, full of sights, art, fun, shopping and energy! As soon as the pupils dropped their bags in the central Manhattan four-star hotel after a 14-hour journey, they walked round the corner to zoom up the lift to the top of the Empire State Building for a glimpse of that famous view at night. If you have been to New York, you will understand that the buzz of the city is experienced through the sights, sounds and food both day and night. Over the next three days, literally miles were covered exploring major art galleries such as the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and the Metropolitan Museum, as well as walking across Brooklyn Bridge, eating in the Hard Rock Café in T imes Square, enjoying a Broadway show and popping into Bloomingdales to spend some money!

F ro m the q ui e t co n t e m p la t i o n of t he inf init y p o o ls a t t h e s i t e of t he Tw in To we r s t o t h e v i e w o f the S ta tu e o f Li b e r t y fro m t he S ta ten I s la n d fe r r y a n d t h e hec tic c ru s h o f t h e s ub way, every one o n t h e t r i p m a d e l a sting m e m o r i e s .

Ellie, 5th Form pupil


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Rockefeller Centre (New York)

Spanning 22 acres and featuring 19 commercial buildings, the Rockefeller Centre is a national historic landmark in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. RIVERLINE 2018


Even ts Teddy b ea r s’ p i c n i c If you go down to the woods today. . . you’re sure of a lovely surprise! This was definitely the case for our new Kindergarten and Reception children who attended our annual teddy bears’ picnic. Staff put on a range of activities for the children to enjoy, which ended with a hunt for teddy bears around the school grounds.

Ghoul School

T h i s wa s a g rea t way f o r c h i l d re n a n d p a re n ts to ge t to k n ow ea c h oth e r a n d th e tea c h i n g sta ff, b e fore th e y j oi n K i n d e rga r te n a n d Rece p ti on .

Every year the ghouls come out to walk the staircase of the old house, and creaks and groans of restless spirits can be heard in the corridors and rooms in the languages and maths area.

M rs Keryn Neaves, Deput y Hea d o f Prep Sch o o l

Figures lurk within the trees behind the Dwight Centre, branches snap for no reason, wartime soldiers march as silhouettes. The braver, more curious pupils in the School venture in for tours by torchlight, hearing ghost stories as they go.

Prep School pupils celebrate their love of reading

Those that make it out, enjoy a feast of blood-red punch, hot dogs, spiced apple cake and pumpkin soup. It is not for the fainthearted, but every year it is a highly anticipated event run by the pupils. The 5th and 6th Forms really enjoy spooking the younger pupils in an evening of hilarity, frights and fun.

Re s t art a Heart D ay

Restart a Heart Day is a yearly day of action for teaching vital life-saving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills to as many people as possible. In 2017, the School welcomed local paramedic Mike W illis and his colleagues who delivered these sessions to 6th Form pupils along with School Nurse Christine Easthall. Pupils were taught the importance of early recognition of cardiovascular issues and prompt, effective CPR. They spent time using manikins to perfect their CPR technique. In 2017, 195,000 people across Europe were taught CPR on Restart a Heart Day. This year, Restart a Heart Day, is going global, with sessions taking place all over the world. Mike W illis and his team joined us again for Restart a Heart Day in 2018 where sessions were opened up to other Senior School year groups, enabling as many young people to take part as possible.


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On World Book Day, Prep School pupils enjoyed a day of becoming much-loved characters from their favourite books. They took part in shared reading, exploring their characters and developing their love of reading. World Book Day is principally about encouraging children and young people to read and love books, and the book tokens allow us to spread that joy. Last year, over 1.2 million £1 book tokens were redeemed, enabling one in four Key Stage 2 children (one in three of those receiving free school meals) to ‘purchase’ their first ever book. Research by the National Literacy Trust has indicated that 89.5% of children aged 8 to 11 are aware of World Book Day and that, in 2016, 60% of children were inspired by the celebration to read more.



School Act of Remembrance 2017 On 10 November, the School’s Remembrance Service took place, commemorating the sacrifice made by members of our School community. Hymns included ‘The Two Fatherlands’ (Sir C Spring Rice) and ‘Abide with Me’ (H F Lyte) and poems were written and read by members of Magdalene House Prep 6: Lydia Dawson, Freddie Wright and Eleanor Bannister (read by Eden Chamberlain James). Extracts from ‘They Called it Passchendaele’ were read by George Lemon, Benjamin Eden, Phoenix Plowman-Blake, Lewis Shipley, Catherine Missin, Krzysztof W isniewski and Eleanor Sloan. The Last Post was played by Kevin Huang and, after the two-minute silence, Kevin played the Reveille.

Passionate about education?

The Remembrance Choir accompanied T im McConnell Wood for ‘Only Remembered’ (N Stafford) and poems were read by Mark Jarvis and Mr McConnell Wood, including ‘In Flanders Fields’ (John McCrae) and ‘Memorial Tablet (Siegfried Sassoon).

So are we!

Pupils and staff remained in the Russell Hall to see a live feed from the maths corridor where the W isbech Grammar School Memorial plaque is located. The Headmaster, accompanied by the Reverend Matthew Bradbury, the Senior Team and the Heads of School made their way to the memorial plaque for a wreath-laying ceremony as the School community watched in silence.

Prep 6 pupils’ Remembrance Assembly On Wednesday 8 November, Prep 6 gave their Remembrance Day assembly to Magdalene House pupils and parents. They shared their poems and work about life in the trenches with the audience and told them how the poppy came to symbolise the remembrance of those who died at war. The remembrance poppy was inspired by the World War I poem ‘In Flanders Fields’. Its opening lines refer to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned-up earth of soldiers’ graves in Flanders.

Some children also shared interesting facts about the Battle of the Somme and its defensive structures. Later, pupils shared precious memories of their loved ones who had fought in past conflicts. At the end of the assembly, everyone joined Prep 6 to sing songs from the trenches: ‘Pack Up Your Troubles’ and ‘It’s a Long Way to T ipperary’.

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F undraisin g ‘ R ace at Yo ur Pl a ce’ ra is es £ 3, 1 6 5 for C an cer Resea rc h UK We held our 6th annual ‘Race at Your Place’ event in the sunshine on 4 July. The race is similar to the ‘Race for Life’ events, with all profits going to Cancer Research UK. Altogether the School raised £3,165, which is our highest amount ever raised for this event. Pupils, parents, staff, past pupils and members of the local community took part in the 5k run/walk around the beautiful grounds of W isbech Grammar School. The winner was a parent, Elisabeth Sennitt Clough, in a time of 21 minutes 24 seconds. There was also a one-mile race for Magdalene House pupils, which was won by Jemima Mitchell in 7 minutes 21 seconds, followed by Max Buschman in 7 minutes 28 seconds and third place went to Finlay Neeve, in 7 minutes 45 seconds. In total, there were 226 participants in the two races. The Friends of W isbech Grammar School organised a tombola, Pimms tent, strawberries and cream and icecream, all of which raised additional money for Cancer Research UK. 6th form pupils also offered face painting to the younger pupils. All in all, it was a wonderful day of sun, fun, laughter and fundraising. Well done to everyone who took part.

We would like to thank Tesco and Prontaprint for sponsoring the event.

Race at Your Pace

(Wisbech Grammar School)

Community 5k run/walk


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F undraisin g Annual Harvest Fair raises much-needed donations for Ely Foodbank On 5 October 2017, Wisbech Grammar School held its annual Harvest Fair.

Be a Friend of Wisbech Grammar School

Pupils from both the Senior and the Prep School donated non-perishable foods to Ely Foodbank, which were then distributed through the Centre serving March and Chatteris. Ely Foodbank is part of a nationwide network of food banks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

The Friends of Wisbech Grammar School is a group of dedicated parents that helps to organise fundraising events across the School calendar and promotes fellowship. They are always looking for new members and value any contribution new parents can make. All parents are automatically considered to be Friends.

The fundraising evening featured a glamorous fairytale theme and a year of planning and preparation by the Committee ensured a magical night for the 200-plus guests who attended. Simon Rowe, KLFM breakfast presenter, hosted the auction and games, which raised money for both School projects to benefit pupils and the Prep School’s chosen charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers. Guests also enjoyed live music from 80s band W ild Boys, as well as a delicious three-course dinner prepared by the School’s catering team and served by 6th Form pupils.

“ “

Ely Foodbank works with 120 agencies to ensure the right help gets to those families that need it most. On behalf of everyone involved, we would like to say big thank you, to all the pupils at Wisbech Grammar School for their generous gift of food. C at h y Wr i g h t , Pro je c t Di re c t o r E l y Fo o db an k

Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

The Friends of Wisbech Grammar School’s 2017 Michaelmas Ball took place in the Skelton Hall on 25 November.

A sincere thank you to the incredible Friends’ Committee for all the hard work that went into ensuring that the Michaelmas Ball was a fantastic success.

Various events were held through the year and these have enabled the School to purchase playground equipment for the Prep School and contribute to an outdoor pizza oven for everyone to enjoy. Friends also raise money for various charities including Little Scotty’s Soldiers and Cancer Research UK.


A fairytale evening at the Michaelmas Ball

Mr C h r is Staley, H eadmaster

The ev en in g w ou ld no t have b een p oss ib le witho ut t h e s u p p or t of a who le ra n ge of p eop le within and ou t s ide Sc h ool, o ur spo ns or s a n d t h e h a rd wo rk ing Com m it t ee. A s u m o f £11,0 0 0 wa s ra is ed.

Mrs Louise O’Conn or, Chair of th e Friends’ Committee



Walk all over Cancer Pupils raised £817 in aid of Cancer Research UK by “ Walking all over Cancer”. Pupils from WGS walked 1 mile on Friday 2 February in support of World Cancer Day on February 4 2018. Pupils from the Reception class through to 6th form joined with members of staff to raise money for Cancer Research. The school combined this walk with a nonuniform day to maximise their fundraising opportunity.

We would like to thank Mrs Timmis for organising the event and Ms Duncan and Amelia Oram for their much-valued technical support.

Rea d y t o r um ba for C a rer s Wor l d wid e! Three teams made up of staff and pupils had an epic dance-off to raise money for, and awareness of, Carers Worldwide. The charity develops and promotes cost-effective, sustainable and easily replicable methods of providing support to carers in low and middle-income countries. Since 2012, its work has affected the lives of over 3,500 carers in Nepal and India.

It was then time for the staff, who flew onto the stage in wheelie chairs to ‘Grease Lightning’. This performance was packed with content and provided a fitting crescendo on which to close the competition. The three acts provided the judges with a very difficult decision. However, Mrs Missin, Mrs Sloan and Head Judge Dr Mann pronounced that Krzysztof W isniewski was the best individual performer and that 1st XV Rugby Team were the winners.

In total, Let’s Dance raised £300 for Carers Worldwide! Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

Residential and Commercial Property Agricultural Business Consultancy and Land Agency

1st XV Rugby Team opened the proceedings with a highenergy performance of the cha-cha slide and even managed to rope in Head of Rugby Alex Laybourne to slide sublimely across the stage in the finale. The Sixth Form Team chose the song ‘What a Feeling’ from the movie Flashdance. Their neon costumes and considered routine was a real hit, though the only male team member, Krzysztof W isniewski, may have stolen the show with his solo introduction to the dance.



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F undraisin g

We are t h rilled t o be fundrais ing for S cot t y ’s L it t le S oldie rs t h is year and v e ry proud of t h e amount of mone y wh ich h as bee n rais ed. Our pupils are v e ry commit t ed t o rais ing as much as poss ible for t h is ch arit y!

A feast of fun and fundraising for a worthy cause Wisbech Grammar School pupils were thrilled to present a cheque for £1,208 to Tammy Green from Scotty ’s Little Soldiers at a special assembly in January. It followed a busy month of fundraising by pupils across the School. This support includes fun activities such as holiday breaks and group events, personal development assistance through educational grants and access to professional bereavement counselling. Its mission is to #HelpTheirChildrenSmile and this has become a W isbech Grammar School mission too!

Mr s Ker yn Neav es, Sen ior Deputy H ead of P rep Sc h ool

Pupils held a raffle to win Pud Pud the teddy, kindly donated by John Lewis. The winner of the raffle was Prep 2 pupil Oliver. Pupils and staff across the School also donated £1 for #bobblehatday and entered into the fundraising spirit by wearing Christmas jumpers and bobble hats. Fundraising and developing a community spirit is at the heart of Wisbech Grammar School and pupils are passionate about raising money and making a difference.

Tammy Gre e n , C o mmu n i t y F u n drai si ng M an age r at S c o t t y’s Li t t l e S o l di e r s

Scotty ’s L i t t le Soldiers is d ed i ca t ed to su p port i n g chi l d ren a nd yo un g peo p l e w ho hav e l o s t a p a rent w h o wa s s er ving in the B r i t i s h Arm ed Force s .


I a m d e l ig h t ed t h a t t h e c h il d re n c h os e S cot t y ’s Lit t l e S ol d ie r s a s t h e ir c h a rit y. I w oul d l ike t o s ay a v e r y b ig t h a nk y ou f or t h e c h eque of £1 , 2 08 . 7 8 f rom a l l t h e f und ra is ing t h a t h a s t a ke n pl a ce . I t mea ns w e a re a b l e t o cont inue t o s upport our S cot t y ’s me mb e rs , w h o a re a l l e xpe rie nc ing t h e l oss of a pa re nt . We l o o k f orwa rd t o cont inuing our pa rt ne rs h ip w i t h M a gd a l e ne H ous e Pre p S c h ool in 2 01 8 an d ma k ing our c h il d re n s mil e .

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Speech Days From little acorns mighty oaks grow… On Thursday 5 July, Mrs Keryn Neaves, Senior Deputy Head of Magdalene House Prep School, welcomed guest of honour, Wing Commander Manu Patel OBE. She then made her speech using horticultural allegories. “From little acorns mighty oaks grow” explained Mrs Neaves, commenting that every one of the pupils had taken a journey of growth through learning, experiencing and achieving this year.

Alic e (Rec eption pupil) receiving h er aw a rd from W ing C omma nd er M a nu Pa t el OBE

She praised colleagues throughout the Prep and Senior school who have created environments where the pupils have been provided with opportunities to explore, investigate and enquire. “It is now”, she said, “how they use these skills, which determines the route they take.” Our older pupils spent time away from home on residential visits, because you have to plant out tender seedlings to harden off. They went to Aylmerton, Flatford Mill and York, learning how to cohabitate with people other than their family. As teachers, it is when the seedlings start to flourish that we gain the greatest feeling. It is the sense of pride when Alice said: “Those are words on those circles aren’t they Mrs Oram? I can read them now”. Or when Logan remarked “That’s a motif isn’t it, Mrs Missin” and when Zeeve was asked if he had any lightbulb moments and he replied: “I learn something new every lesson, Mrs Beck.” When you make things grow you attract bees to your garden, and this is just what we did in the Lent term by performing the world premiere of The Bees’ Knees. A delightful array of colour adorned the stage and the pupils amazed us all, once again with their fabulous talents. By the end of this week our Prep 6, who were once the acorns of honest inquiry, will have sprouted and matured into tall saplings of understanding. They have the tools given to them along the way by their teachers and now have the opportunity to put those tools to good use as they move on to the Senior School.

Emma Markillie (Head Girl, Prep School)

“Don’t be afraid to try new things, sing your socks off, push yourself and don’t forget to care!”

John Lawrence and Emma Markillie, outgoing Heads of School, then gave a confident speech about their time in Prep School and how excited they are to be moving up to Senior School in September. John summed up his experience by saying that the Prep School gave him the best start in life with lots of fun memories from trips, events and raising money for charity. He also mentioned taking the ESB exams which had helped him to stand up at this Speech Day to give a speech to hundreds of parents, pupils and staff. Outgoing Head Girl, Emma Markillie, said Prep School has allowed her to reach her full potential. Commenting on how scared and tearful she was when she started school; it was great to now have the confidence to stand in front of everyone. She thanked her teachers for helping her to grow. Emma’s closing words were “Don’t be afraid to try new things, sing your socks off, push yourself and don’t forget to care.” Speech Day then closed with a prayer from Reverend Canon Matthew Bradbury, and pupils and parents dispersed for the summer break.

We all know that being outdoors has such a positive impact. The introduction of the Bugs ‘n’ Bees patch has provided our children yet another learning opportunity and one that particularly enhances their well-being.

Mr s Ker yn Neav es, Sen ior Deputy H ead P rep Sc h ool


Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l



Speech Days Inspiration, transformation and creativity – Three words at the heart of WGS On a very hot but gloriously sunny morning last Friday, 6 July, Headmaster Chris Staley welcomed the audience of Governors, Guest of Honour Master Chief Mike MacKay, Grammarians, visitors and guests to the 2018 Speech Day. This end of year event celebrates pupils’ achievements and bids fond farewells to leavers. It also includes a review of the last twelve months and some insights into plans for the following year. Mr Staley opened Speech Day and set the theme of his speech by recalling a recent interview with prospective parents where he was surprised to be asked a question that he had never been asked before, “Headmaster, who was your favourite teacher at school and why?” W ithout hesitation, Mr Staley was instantly transported back to his 6th Form Geography class and one of his 6th Form Geography teachers - Mr Davis - who like most outstanding teachers, taught him many crucial lessons, such as:

You have to try, and you have to fail sometimes to get it right in the long run; the best lessons are sometimes the hardest ones.

Mr Davis was unashamedly academic, inspirational in showing how to challenge the assumptions that often lay behind questions and thinking of interesting and innovative ways to creatively ‘take on’ the question by looking at it from an unexpected perspective.

Ma s t e r Ch i e f Mi k e M c Kay

Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

Next year’s Heads of School are announced as Catherine Missin and Frazer Brown, supported by Deputies, Leena Hussein and Sam Martin and a new team of Senior Prefects. Speech Day is always as much about looking forward as it is to celebrate the year just gone. Mr Staley said he was pleased and proud to be able to say that W isbech Grammar School is growing in strength, reputation and popularity because of everyone’s collective efforts. Next to the podium was Guest of Honour, Master Chief Mike McKay, Senior Executive Advisor and Operational Intelligence Manager, Allied Maritime Command, NATO. He gave a moving and inspirational speech that provided five lessons that he has lived by:

M r C h r i s S t al e y, M ast e r C hief M i k e M c Kay, Dr De n n i s B arter

Inspiration, transformation and creativity If ever there were three words that describe what education should be about and what a school should be striving to do then surely these would be them; they applied to Mr Davis then, and Mr Staley shared that it is now his enormous privilege and pleasure to work in a school that ensures that these three words are at the heart of all that the School does, applying to pupils and teachers alike. There are have plenty of inspirational pupils in the school who very quietly influence and motivate those around them, for example, through study buddy, DofE, the orchestra and ensembles or working closely with other younger pupils as mentors. Others inspire those around them through their achievements, whether it is in the academic world, sport, art or performance. WGS is a place that provides the opportunity for inspiration at all levels. WGS also has fantastic teachers; they are inspirational through their depth of knowledge and commitment to continual development, for example among them are doctors, published authors, lecturers, textbook writers, performing arts stars, marathon runners, musicians, jewellery makers, mechanics, chefs, international athletes and those completing master’s degrees.


Mr Staley then moved on to recognise the work of the Senior Prefects whose assistance in helping guide younger pupils cannot be underestimated, and gave public thanks to Ollie Mann and Tarn Chamberlain James for their work this year as Heads of School ably supported by their Deputies Katy Landles and James Horsburgh.

P  ractice active listening

Y  ou can never please everybody

S  eize opportunities

B  itter-sweet realisations

R  esults not excuses

Outgoing Heads of School, Tarn Chamberlain James and Oliver Mann started their speech with a story in which whilst out walking they came across two groups of people with 10-foot chopsticks strapped to their arms; one group were in hell, starving and miserable whilst the other were in heaven, well fed and happy. This led them to ask; “Why are these two groups so different when they face the same challenges?” The answer given was, “In Heaven, we feed each other”.

Senio r Sch o o l Prize Winn ers

This, Tarn and Ollie said, is similar to their experience at WGS and as they look forward to their future and reflect on their life in School, one thing stands out; the support not only from other pupils but also from their teachers. In a challenging world where there is trial by social media, judgement on how you look, and people building walls rather than bridges, now, more than ever, young people need to stand up for what they believe and support each other.

Go for it, be bold, be true, be kind, and be different. Put down your mobile phone and use your 10-foot chopsticks to make a difference.

Tar n C amberla in Ja m es a nd Oliv er Mann, fo rm er pupils

Speech Day then closed with a prayer from Reverend Canon Matthew Bradbury, and pupils and parents dispersed for the summer break.



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Alumn i Saskia Cooper (Wisbech Grammar School)

Subjects studied at A Level: Biolog y, Chemistry, Textiles Grades achieved at A Level: Biolog y (A*) Chemistry (A*) Textiles (A*)

After finishing A levels I went on to study medicine at the University of Birmingham. I graduated in 2016 and have been working as a doctor in Birmingham since.

Subjects studied at A Level: Business Studies, Home Economics, Textiles

Currently I am working in A+E in Birmingham and studying a post graduate certificate in clinical medicine alongside this. WGS not only helped me achieve the grades and university place that I wanted but also taught me to make the most of every opportunity available, gave me some of the best friends and taught me that working hard and playing hard are equally important – something that I definitely continued at university! I’m sure that my love of travelling also started at WGS after falling in love with the Caribbean on a sports trip to Barbados. Since this I have travelled to many cities in Europe, St Lucia, Central America, China, Thailand and most recently Sri Lanka.

I played hockey throughout my time at WGS and ended as Captain of the 1st team, here I learnt invaluable skills in teamwork and leadership that have definitely been helpful in my career, I have continued to play and enjoy hockey throughout university and after graduating, I captained my local team and have met some of my closest friends through this.

M y advi ce f o r cur rent pupi l s w o ul d si m pl y be to w o r k hard, enjo y i t and l o o k o ut f o r each o ther – these co ul d be f r i ends f o r l i f e!

Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

(Wisbech Grammar School)

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at university and though at times it was hard work, I had lots of time for socialising, sport and travelling too.

Be somewhere you will enjoy and make sure you explore a study abroad year, because the opportunities from that are endless.


Chloe Garner

Grades achieved at A Level: Business Studies (A) Home Economics (A) Textiles (B)

After studying for my A Levels, I went straight off to study at university. Unable to pick between Business Studies and Home Economics, my fantastic tutors at WGS helped me to find a course somewhere in the middle. I chose to study Hospitality and Business Management at Sheffield Hallam University. I loved my time at university, especially moving to a big city after growing up in W isbech. As a part of my degree, my third year was a year in industry. I managed to secure a place on a management programme at the Michelin Star restaurant Hambleton Hall, on the peninsular of Rutland Water. This was a tough year, with long hours and lots of manual work, but very rewarding. One of my highlights was Mrs Sloan and Miss W ildman coming to visit for lunch! That really proved to me that WGS’s support continues after you leave school. I graduated from university with a first class degree in the summer of 2017, and was awarded the prize for the highest overall mark on the course. At this stage, I decided that I wanted to aim for a place on a corporate graduate scheme. I was lucky enough to be one of 1000 applicants to earn one of the 10 places at St. James’s Place Wealth Management. I was particularly excited to relocate to the Cotswolds, after realising that despite 4 years in the city, my heart was in the countryside! I have now completed my first year of the rotational programme. We move departments every six months, with the aim of developing a wide network and knowledge of the business in preparation for a management position. I am currently working to support our largest financial advice practices, and spend roughly three days a week travelling to our office in Canary Wharf.

up in financial services (and neither would my maths teacher Mr Woodsmith!). T imes are also changing, and there are some incredible opportunities out there if university isn’t for you. I would have definitely been tempted by a degree apprenticeship if they were around in my day.

I am very proud to have studied at WGS, and I’m excited to watch my little cousins follow in my footsteps.

I am certain that I would not be where I am today without the personalised support, time and effort I received from everyone at WGS. I am also so grateful for being encouraged to be highly ambitious and dedicated. These are both traits which have served me well.

My advice for current pupils is keep your options open. At 18 I thought I had everything planned out, but never in a million years would I have imagined myself ending



Sta rte r s/Leavers Wisbech Grammar School’s starters and leavers

We a re thrilled to welcome all new s t aff t o Wis bech G ra mma r Sc ho o l a nd would als o like t o wis h depart ing sta f f the be st of luck in t heir fut ure plans . M r s S u e S i mm o n s, H u man Re so u rc e s M an age r

Noemie Neighbour Madame Neighbour joined WGS in 2009 and studied in Lausanne in Switzerland. She undertook an MA in English Language and Literature with French and History. Noemie went to the University of York where she achieved her PGCE. She worked as a Class Teacher at Dereham Neatherd High School and Lawrence Jackson School.

New staff September 2018

Leavers September 2018

Miss Rebecca Davies, Head of Lower Maths

Mr T im McConnell-Wood, Senior Deputy Head

Mrs Kirstie Harrison, Head of Maths

Mr Mark Jarvis, DT Teacher and PE/Sports

Mrs Harriet Kember-Whitfield*, Acting Head of English

Mrs Noemie Neighbour, Head of Upper School MFL

Miss Julie Nicholson, English Teacher (Mat Cover)

Mr Vincent Hart, Maths Teacher

Miss Olexandra Solomka, DT Teacher

Mr Geoff Howes, Head of Maths

Ms Elizabeth Semper, Head of MFL

Mr Mick Stump, Head of Art (may stay until December)

Mrs Andrea Glover, Head of Hockey

Mr Mattew McChlery, Prep School Teacher

Mr Joss Linney, Teacher of Academic PE

Miss Tansy Castledine, Deputy Head Academic

Mrs Andrea Eggleton, Sports Coach

Mr Peter Harrison, Art Teacher

Mrs Heidi Milton, Sports Coach

Mrs Christine Moore, C  atering Assistant and Cleaner

Miss Amy Thorpe, EYFS Assistant – Kindergarten

Miss Victoria Collins, Science Technician

Miss Megan Gillings, EYFS Assistant – Kindergarten

Mrs Lorraine Morton, Lunch T ime Supervisor

Miss Emma Brown, Teaching Assistant

Ms Nicola Jackling, Head Chef

Mr Scot Hammond-Halsey, Mini Bus Driver

Mrs Vanessa Norris, Teaching Assistant

Mr John Esser, Groundsman (PT)

Mick Stump Mick Stump joined WGS on 1 September 1987 and went to school in London and onto the University at Portsmouth Polytechnic where he achieved a BA Hons in Painting and Drawing. He then went to London University. Mick started work at Valley School in Nottingham and moved to WGS in 1997 as Head of Art. He was Head of Arts for 30 years and has shown his passion for Art during this time enthusing pupils in this creative subject. He has enjoyed taking pupils out of school to enjoy Art in the wider world including his last trip which was to New York.

Prior to undertaking her PGCE she worked as a Foreign Language Assistant at Horbury School in Wakefield. Noemie grew up in a multicultural world and learnt to speak French, German Italian and English. In 2009 her references spoke of her desire to be an outstanding teacher and going the extra mile which she clearly demonstrated while she was at WGS. Noemie returned to her homeland of Switzerland with her husband and family.

Geoff Howes

Peter Harrison

Geoff Howes joined WGS on 1 September 1988. He went to Orton Longueville School in Peterborough and then onto university in Manchester and achieved a BSC Homs 1st in Maths; then undertook his PGCE at the University of Liverpool. He started his teaching career at Harrogate Grammar School and then moved to Ramsey Abbey School where he was Head of Computing and Statistics.

Peter Harrison started on 01 September 2001 and went to The Banbury School of Art and achieved a Diploma in General Art. He then went to Staffordshire Polytechnic and achieved a BA Hons in Design (Ceramics). Peter then moved to Manchester Polytechnic where he achieved his PGCE in Art & Design.

Geoff completed 30 years of loyal service at W isbech Grammar School dedicating his time to the teaching of Maths and raising money for worthy causes. Race at Your Place was an event close to Geoff’s heart. He worked tirelessly each year with ‘The Friends of W isbech Grammar School’ to organise Race at Your Place raising significant funds and awareness for such a worthwhile cause.


Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

One of his jobs before joining W isbech was working in New Zealand where he was Head of Art and Rugby Coach. One of his references said “Peter demonstrates good leadership skills in a department which had diverse personalities building a strong team. His qualities were described as someone who takes people with them, warm and genuine and a highly competent Art Teacher”. This was certainly the case at WGS.



Obituaries John D w igh t

Laurie Fuller

John Dwight passed away in November 2016 aged 95. He was one of the Magdalene College Governors of WGS from 1965 until 2000.

Laurie Fuller graduated from Christ’s College Cambridge. Following his first teaching post at Egham Grammar School, he took up the position of Head of French at what was Wisbech Boys’ Grammar School in 1965.

Born in Cornwall in 1921, and educated at Stowe school in 1940, he won a scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. Due to the war, and after a shortened two-year course, he worked for a crane manufacturer in Bath, returning to Corpus Christi to complete an MSc at the end of the war. His achievements from working in the aluminium industry was a new design for a lamp post and the world’s first aluminium swing bridge in Sunderland. His book “Aluminium Design and Construction” was published in 1999. John was a WGS Governor during a turbulent time. The school became a Direct Grant school, giving it freedom, whilst still receiving state funding. This terminated in 1975. Deciding against being fully independent, WGS remained the only Grammar School in Cambridgeshire until 1980, when the anomalous status had become difficult, it then went fully independent, encouraged by the new ‘assisted places’ scheme. In 1983, John was one of the architects of this change. WGS appreciation of John’s enormous contribution to school life, resulted in the new Performing Arts Centre being named after him in 2003.

C oli n Hutch in so n

The site of the boys’ school was restricted so amalgamated with the Girls’ High School, to form a new co-educational Grammar School which began in September 1970.

WGS Governor 1965 to 2000 John was a leading member of the congregation and continued to worship at Granchester parish church. He is buried there alongside his wife, who died eight years earlier.

A long-serving member of staff, Penny died in January 2018, being remembered for her gracious presence and artistic talents that shone brightly beyond the confines of the school.

He graduated from Nottingham University in 1952. Joining the Intelligence Corps after National service, he was then posted to Egypt.

A skilled and sensitive artist, Penny had a great modesty about her own abilities, a thoughtful and unassuming kindness that she showed to colleagues, which she regarded as simply ‘the natural thing to do’.

Colin followed his father into Freemasonry, became Worshipful Master of the Lodge of Good Fellowship and then Provincial Grand Master until his 75th birthday. Awarded Royal Warrants for his business, he was a member of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, becoming President in 2001. Colin died peacefully on 16th February 2018. He is survived by his wife Jean, his two sons, their wives and five grandchildren.

Wi s b e c h G r a m m a r S c h o o l

WGS Governor 1983 to 2006 Being an Old Grammarian, Colin maintained his interest in the school long after his retirement. The governors thank Colin and his family for their contribution to the life of the School.

Laurie was made Head of Modern Languages and in 1986, he was then promoted to Deputy Headmaster; a position he held until his retirement in 1996.

M r s Pe n n y C a r kee k

Colin was born in Wisbech in 1930. Aged eleven, he won a place at Wisbech Grammar School, where he thrived both academically and at athletics, being the County Champion at the half mile.

On demob in 1954, Colin joined the family business H.L. Hutchinson Ltd, formed by his father. W ith his University background in horticulture, he was the company’s first agronomist advising local fruit growers. In 1984 he opened a new depot in Stowmarket and in Boston.


Laurie Fuller was an outstanding colleague in every respect. His endless patience with pupils and staff, his natural kindness and tremendous loyalty and his shining example of just how things should be done, were priceless assets of W isbech Grammar School. I shall leave the last word to Michael McCrum (now sadly departed), McCrum had taught the young Fuller at Cambridge before returning to Christ’s College some years later as Master. When they met again, he remembered his young pupil. As McCrum and I walked towards the Russell Hall for the main event, he turned to me and said, ‘I didn’t realise Laurie Fuller was your deputy – you’ve got a good man there.’ R S Repper

Penny was born in King’s Lynn. She trained at an art college in Leicester, gaining a National Diploma in Design and an Art Teacher’s Diploma. Upon graduation, she came to W isbech High School in 1953 to teach art, this expanded to include textiles. She married her husband Rex in 1960 and after taking an 11-year break following the birth of her children, Penny returned to work, until her retirement in 1990. For Penny and Rex, the school was a family affair, with all three of their children becoming pupils. She then turned to globe-trotting, especially enjoying China, Costa Rica, America, North and South Africa, Egypt and the Antipodes.

The order of service at her funeral, was set against a backdrop of Penny’s stitchwork featuring the grounds of the church and bluebell woods. A collection raised more than £1,000 for Cancer Research UK.



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