Page 1

Spring 2013

WorthSchool School m magazine Worth agazine

INSIGHT Worth School magazine

Why the world needs monks & nuns Read Aloysius Atkinson on pages 8 & 9

The new face of rugby

Not too young to lead The Austin boys show what they can do. Pages 2 & 3

Ellie Ambridge takes her place on the pitch. Page 4

NOT TOO YOUNG TO LEAD Mike Matthews, Austin Housemaster I’ve heard it said many times that pupils will have more leadership opportunities in a senior school if they stay in a Prep School until Year 9, but the difference is that the leadership opportunities are far broader in a senior school and, with this breadth of opportunity, comes a greater responsibility. A pride in oneself and willingness to lead by example are essential qualities which we strive to nurture in our students from the day they arrive at Worth. Although the boys in Austin may be the youngest in the school, this wealth of opportunity to lead is highlighted and within reach of every member of the House. In Austin House this year we have a Year 7 School Council Representative, Charles Barakat, Jack Parkhouse is editor of the Austin Newsletter and our three Year 8 Prefects are Eli Barrott (also Year 8 School Council Representative), Benedict Ritchie and Sebastian Steinebach. Leadership is not just confined to these roles; these boys merely provide an example of how leadership and responsibility can be embraced. Through writing an article for the House newsletter, organising a charity fundraising event or simply working hard, the Austin boys are constantly challenged to show initiative and challenge their own expectations of what they can achieve. Every year I select the Junior Prefects in consultation with the Year 7 tutors because the roles are awarded in recognition of outstanding effort in Year 7. This is not based purely on academic effort but also for being helpful and embodying the Benedictine values around the House. Some of the key roles of the Year 8 Prefects are mentoring the incoming students, providing a supportive soundboard and setting a good example at all times. The boys also take on responsibility for keeping the House in order and will organise charity initiatives or leading Housel and School assemblies. When I was a boy at the school, one of my overwhelming memories was that I had never experienced a school where every individual mattered and their contribution to school life is just as valuable as the next. This instilled a true sense of pride in every student and something the Austin House team has worked hard to embody - a pride for the House and all it stands for. There is a real belief that even though we may be the only junior house at Worth, there is no reason why we can’t have a voice and make a difference in the school community. A good example of this was Austin winning the Caritas Shield last year despite being half the size of most Houses and having no students older than Year 8. I am delighted that Mr Ambridge will take over Austin House when I move to St Bede’s House in September. Whilst he will take the House in his own direction, I am sure the tradition of Year 7 and 8 students leading by example will continue to grow. 2

Worth School magazine

Mike Matthews (back row) with (left to right) Benedict Ritchie, Charles Barakat, Sebastian Steinebach, Eli Barrott and Jack Parkhouse. Spring 2013


The new face of rugby When Ellie Ambridge broke her back, it seemed as if her rugby playing days would be behind her. Two years on and having just been selected to play for London and the South East, it’s a very different story. Charlotte Bonhoure went to find out more. Why do you enjoy rugby?

What has rugby taught you on a personal level?

I like the fact that rugby is a team sport, where each individual has an important role to play which enables the whole team to work as a successful unit. I’ve noticed that most players have a great drive and determination not just in rugby but across all areas in their lives. Also, it’s great physically because you really do use every muscle group and there’s a great sense of satisfaction when you’ve pushed yourself to the limit.

When I was 14 I broke my back playing rugby, which took 8 months to be diagnosed and then a further 18 months of scans, injections and investigations culminating in major spinal surgery where I had my spine fused with a bone graft, five metal screws and two rods. This meant that I was forbidden to do any physical activity which was anathema to me; I had to mentally adapt and learn ways in which to cope using patience, faith, and hope of a good outcome. It was a very frightening time for me and my family. Two years on from my surgery and I am back playing rugby and have recently got into the London and South East U18s Divisional squad which in a way marked an end to a traumatic journey. I have learnt to always try and keep perspective and not to worry about the small stuff in life as it’s a waste of energy and time.

What is your response to the suggestion that rugby is an unfeminine sport? I started playing rugby at the age of 5 after having watched my brothers. At the time, I was not at all selfconscious and it seemed normal for me to play.

What has rugby taught you about life? One of the most important things I have learnt is to have good leadership skills. When I captained Sussex U15s, I had to have control of a whole team and had to help motivate everyone. One of the hardest things is to keep everyone’s spirits up when things aren’t going well and to concentrate on the positives in order to build confidence. Encouragement is important.


Worth School magazine


St Anne’s Year 9 pupil Joanna Bartholomew has just self-published her first book, The Secret Face. The book started as a piece of homework and now the tale of spies, revenge and romance is available on-line at story is left on a cliffhanger so we hope that a sequel is in the offing …

Have you noticed any changes in attitudes towards women’s rugby since you have been playing? It has become more popular, especially over the past few years as the Women’s Rugby World Cup was hosted in England in 2010 which led to more publicity for the game and the players. Spring 2013


Rugby marches on! Well done to the Worth 7s for reaching the quarter-finals in the famous Marches tournament held at Hereford Cathedral School. We couldn’t put it better than this report from on 25th February. “As always the Marches was

brilliantly organised and passionately contested. At the end of the group stage we had already seen some excellent rugby. In perhaps the stand out result on a great morning of rugby The Worth School upset Coleg sir Gar to top their group. Going into the match as underdogs against perhaps the best 7s side of last year they started well and scored two well-constructed tries early on. The

Sussex School didn’t panic, looking confident having already beaten Monmouth that morning, and they were starting to find their rhythm. Some excellent and elusive running saw Coleg sir Gar fight back but they were always at least a score behind and a went down 33-22 in the end. After the heroics of the group they went out in the next round to the excellent Sir Thomas Rich’s but that win will fill them with confidence for the rest of the season.”

Congratulations to coach Rob Outen and the squad: (back row) Dominic Suckling, Luke Cummins , Hugh Murphy, Tommy Ferguson, James Kemp, Fergus Ryan, Louis Gorringe (front row) Peter Vangelatos, Angus Bonner, Tom Poynder (capt), Max Bergot , Christy O’Brien, Toby Jozwiak.

Shakespeare meets THE MATRIX

New Head of Drama Helen Brown delivered a memorable version of Measure for Measure as her first Senior production. In a backstreet and neo-gothic setting, the audience was caught up in the play’s sweeping themes of power, corruption and faith. The strong cast included Sophia Stone and Ned Caderni (pictured) as Isabella and Angelo, with Arhan Naidoo in the role of Duke Vincentio, James Caruana as Claudio and Michele Gilling-Ulph as Mariana. Image copyright DE Photos Ltd 6

Worth School magazine Spring 2013




Aloysius Atkinson faces the question of relevance.

Living a life apart, monks and nuns are often seen by contemporary society as a relic of the past, something out of the Middle Ages. Yet the success of The Monastery, the BBC programme about Worth, as well as the subsequent programme The Big Silence show that at the very least millions of people are intrigued by monastic life. But Worth shows in the religious life, with 2,000 people taking part in the Abbeyw’s retreat programme, The Open Cloister each year. Worth’s Novice Master, Fr Martin McGee, is clear that the world does need monasteries today, to act as an alternative to the prevailing culture. ‘The monastery points to the priority of God’, he says, and the worship offered by the monks six times each day, the monastic office, ‘says to Christians and to everyone that God is the first priority’. Moreover, he adds, ‘doing good must first come from our relationship with God’; otherwise it risks being ‘tainted’ by selfish motives. 8

Worth School magazine

Similarly, Worth Sixth Former Charlotte Bonhoure, having gone on retreat to the Poor Clares’ Convent at Crossbush, discovered the (surprisingly simple) answer to the question of what nuns do all day: ‘Praying is what the nuns ‘do’; it is their vocation, their calling in life. Through prayer, the sisters carry the world’s needs to God.’ In this age of aggressive secularism, however, surely monasteries and convents must take second place to the need for the church to evangelise society as a whole? Fr Martin disagrees: ‘Monasteries are more important now than they were 20 years ago’, he says, because of the all-consuming competitive rat-race. ‘Monastic life is a very strong form of community life’, in fact, ‘a community of love’, he argues, that puts the emphasis on the common good in a way alien to today’s individualistic culture. ‘To flourish we need other people’, he continues. In addition to challenging the prevailing culture, monasteries and convents offer guests the chance to spend some time apart. People today are ‘always plugged in’, Fr Martin says, and the opportunity for silence is extremely valuable.

While it is true that the world needs monks and nuns, it is not producing them in sufficient numbers. While Fr Martin is concerned about the situation, saying that ‘monasticism in the western world has been in sharp decline since the 1980s’, he points out that both monastic and missionary vocations are doing well in developing countries, attributing this in part to the ‘strong sense of community’ found in Africa. Nevertheless, concern about the dearth of potential monastic vocations has led the Abbey to begin a monthly vocations vigil. Fr Martin cites St Louis Abbey in the United States, part of the English Benedictine Congregation, as an example of vocations vigils including Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament leading to an increase in vocations, adding, ‘young people involved in adoration have an intimate relationship with the Lord, which is at the heart of vocation’. This is also at the heart of why the world needs monks and nuns. Monasteries and convents encourage and allow people to develop an intimate relationship with Christ, by rejecting secular, materialistic contemporary culture and pointing instead to God. The values of community and silence and the rhythm of regular prayer make monastic life, to quote Fr Martin, ‘a gift for the church and for the whole world’. Spring 2013


IN HIS OWN WORDS Meet Gordon Pearce, the newest member of the Senior Leadership Team who joined Worth last September as Deputy Head (Pastoral). I was initially attracted to Worth because it is a Benedictine Catholic school. Why was this so important for me? What makes a Benedictine school so distinctive is that the Christian and Catholic values provided by the Rule of St Benedict permeate throughout the school community and are not just a vague, undefined aspiration, only superficially adhered to by the pupils and staff. I wished to work in, and support, a school which has not the selfish pursuit of success or dull accumulation of utilitarian skills but rather the values of love and service, reverence and humility as its defining ethos. In sum, I wished to join ‘a school of the Lord’s service’. I had also been impressed, on my occasional visits to


Worth School magazine

Worth over the past years, at the considerable changes that have occurred. The highly successful transition to coeducation, the expansion to a school of 600 pupils, and the excellent new facilities all reinforced the view that Worth is ‘on-the-up’ as a leading Catholic school.

“Worth is on-the-up as a leading Catholic school.” My role is, essentially, to be responsible for the pastoral care at Worth. This involves overseeing the pastoral life and procedures in both the day and boarding-houses, overseeing the tutoring system and the delivery of the PSME programme, and in liaising with the School Counsellor and outside agencies on

pastoral welfare issues. I also have oversight of the School’s disciplinary practices and systems, including the investigation and management of significant disciplinary incidents (if any!). One of my objectives for this first year, and I appreciate that this may be an impossible task, is to get to know all the pupils in the school. I would like to increase the involvement of all the pupils in the life and practices of our school and to encourage a greater sense of responsibility that pupils have not just for themselves, but for all those within the Worth community, and beyond. I hope that by getting to know the pupils individually, and by working with the Prefects, the Councils, the Houses, and also by organising activities and events, that I can encourage every single pupil to feel that they are part of the Worth family, amongst whom they wish to live and work according to our defining ethos. As St Benedict says, ‘Fulfil by the way you live the directions that come from your loving Father’. Winter 2012 Spring 2013


Flaked out

It was a large and enthusiastic group of skiers and snowboarders of all ages who enjoyed the powder snow on this year’s trip to Alpe D’Huez in France. According to organiser Mrs Hall-Palmer, “There was a huge improvement in the standard of skiing and snowboarding from everyone throughout the week. While our intermediate boarders had a sensational time jumping and learning tricks in the snowpark, gaining confidence with speed and technique, the beginners ended the week able to do red runs which is an amazing effort.


Worth School magazine

“Our skiers were probably the best overall group we have ever had on a trip and the majority of advanced and intermediate skiers completed the famous Sarenne run - 6km in length from Pic Blanc to the village - on a glorious day in bright sunshine. The beginner skiers achieved an excellent standard of linked parallel turns after 6 days and did several red runs, jumps and were adventurous in the deep snow.”

There were various honorary titles that members of the group were awarded during the trip based on skills and improvement, with the title of overall girl of the tour going to Clemency Derbyshire and overall boy to Ed Hermitage. The next ski trip will be in December to Whiteface, USA. Spring 2013


On song in the USA

The Choir Tour to Charlotte, North Carolina was a great success. The choir sang in churches, a Benedictine monastery, a Vanderbilt mansion, the corridors of the local primary school, to unsuspecting restaurant goers ... and even in the local bagel shop! Organist Luke Navin (Year 12) has written a full account of the trip which can be read on the school website in the Wider Curriculum section, ‘Trips and Visits’.


Worth students were invited to display their work in the Educational Space at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Their work was selected after entering what the Gallery described as “outstanding” work into the Saatchi Gallery/Sunday Telegraph Art Prize for Schools. This is a real coup for Ms Juley Hudson and her forward-thinking Art Department. The picture shows Dominic Suckling (now Year 12) with his GCSE piece which is some 7ft tall and made of wood and paper.


Worth School magazine Spring 2013


This stunning snowscape by Merrick Allen-Winter (Year 13) took first place in the ‘Worth in the Snow’ photo competition.

Insight Editorial Team Insight Editorial Team Aloysius Atkinson (Year 13) Charlotte Bonhoure (Year 13) Simon Fisher Catherine Forrester Daniel Koch Finian Lurcott (Year 13) Valentina Maccario (Year 13)

Photography: All images by Emma Duggan Photography except Gordon Pearce, the Saatchi Gallery, Choir Tour, skiing, rugby and back page. Measure for Measure photography by Robbie Jack. For the latest Worth School news and events, please visit Worth School, Paddockhurst Road, Turners Hill, West Sussex RH10 4SD t: 01342 710200 e: Registered charity number 1093914 Company registration number 4476558

Printed on environmentally friendly paper made from raw materials sourced from managed and sustainable forests. BAINES design & print 01707 876555 A56756

Worth School Insight Magazine Spring 2013  

The newsletter of Worth School, West Sussex.