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2015

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Jerwoods snowHeadmaster's End of Term Letter
16 December 2015

Dear Parents and Guardians,
 
Every three years we bring our community together in one place for the Service of Carols at Peterborough Cathedral and it is always a very special way to end the Winter Term. This year was no exception. It was wonderful to see so many Oakham parents, trustees and friends joining the staff and pupils last Friday for an incredibly uplifting Service to send us off with the joyful message of Christmas ringing in our ears. The Jerwoods Carol Service, on the day before, was just as special and I am particularly grateful to our Chaplaincy Fellow, Mr Tom Constable, who preached to the younger Oakhamians about how to embrace those challenges which we all face in many aspects of our lives. He made the point that it is at school that so many such occasions present themselves and encourage the most effective learning.
 
Judging by the many end of term reports that I have read over the last week, I think it fair to say that a great deal of effective learning has taken place over the last three months. I believe the new Oakham timetable has helped both by removing some of the frenetic movement around the campus and enabling deeper learning to take place in lessons. Feedback from students and staff has generally been very positive but we will be gaining more formal feedback, from teachers and pupils, during the next term with the aim of making further improvements for the next academic year.
 
It has been exciting over the past month to see work finally begin on the new Faculty for Social Sciences (being constructed next to the School Shop) which will complete the past eight years’ extensive redevelopment of our academic teaching facilities. In the Spring Term work will begin on the long-awaited redevelopment of the Sports Hall!
 
Although the Winter Term was a very quiet period for staff recruitment for the next academic year, I would like to bring you up to date with some significant changes:

  • The Chaplain, Rev. Alex Aldous, will be retiring next summer and I will bring you news of his successor in the New Year.
  • Sally Wragg, Housemistress of Ancaster, is also retiring next summer and she will be succeeded by Alison Petit who will also continue to teach Lower 1.
  • Alastair Speers, Housemaster of Clipsham and Senior Housemaster, has been appointed Headmaster of Sandroyd Prep School in Wiltshire from next September. He will be succeeded in Clipsham by Tim Dixon-Dale.

Also, I am delighted to bring you the news that we will be joined next term by our new Director of Cricket, Neil Johnson. He is currently the very successful 1st XI coach at Hilton College in South Africa, having previously played Test Cricket and one day international cricket for Zimbabwe.

Talking of success, many parents commented to me outside the cathedral on Friday on the superb quality of the choral singing. Earlier last week, the Chamber Choir achieved terrific accolades by reaching the semi-finals (top six schools) in both the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year Competition, and the Barnardo’s National Choral Competition. You will be able to see the former on the BBC later in 2016 and the latter will take place at the Royal Festival Hall. Exciting times lie ahead for our top choral singers. It really has been a remarkable end to the year for the Performing Arts at Oakham given the stunning performances of Cabaret a couple of weeks ago.
You can read of our many other great successes during the past term in my termly Roll of Achievements attached to this letter. Throughout every term we aim to highlight much of what is happening at Oakham in the Latest News on the School website, not just achievements, but stories of great effort and enthusiastic participation.
 
The website is one of the best ways to keep up to date with all of the news from the School. Life at Oakham is always full and busy, so the website news is constantly refreshed and updated. To make sure you do not miss out on anything going on, another good way to learn about the news as it happens, is to follow us on Twitter - @OakhamSch. So if you are not following us on social media, make it a New Year resolution to do so in 2016!
 
Jill and I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and our very best wishes for the New Year.
 
 
Yours,
NML Sig
Nigel Lashbrook
Headmaster

Oakham crest  

2015 Winter

  • Academic-News

peterborough-cathedral-oakham-school-1Carol services at Peterborough Cathedral
16 December 2015

The School held its triennial Peterborough Cathedral carol services in the last week of term before the Christmas break, with the Lower School service on Thursday and the Middle/Upper School service on Friday.

The majesty of the cathedral always creates a special atmosphere, and this year was no exception. The lessons were read with poise and confidence by Heads of Houses, the Head Boy and Girl, the Master of Jerwoods and the Headmaster respectively. These were interlaced with complementary carols from congregation and choir and punctuated by a brief address telling the timeless story of God’s salvation for humankind.

Mr Tom Constable, Chaplaincy Fellow, spoke in the Thursday address of the mystery of John chapter 1, urging everyone to wrestle with it even if it is not easy to understand. On the Friday, the School Chaplain Rev Alex Aldous spoke on the concept of time’ – whilst on the surface there may seem to be apparent awkwardness in the timing of certain aspects of the Christmas story and our own preparedness for the season, nevertheless God breaks through into history and becomes flesh at his appointed hour, and there is then the call for us to make time for him in all our busyness.

peterborough-cathedral-oakham-school-2In Thursday’s service, the Jerwoods Choir contributed a lovely selection of choral carols, opening with the Director of Music’s ethereal arrangement of the plainsong Creator of the starry height, and finishing with Bob Chilcott’s beautiful setting of Midwinter, featuring the flute playing of Jessica Carr. On Friday, the Chapel Choir bookended the service with two Oakham School commissions – one from Paul Mealor (Matin Responsory, first heard in 2012), and a moving new work by Will Todd heard after the prayers (God so loved the world). As well as the excellent choral singing, there were also outstanding solos from Alex Bower-Brown, Edwin Lambert, Jack Lee, Hannah Lockington, Kitty McNeill and Morgan Overton.

Carol services at Peterborough Cathedral

  • music news
saci-lloyd-author-library-oakham-schoolWriting a thriller with author Saci Lloyd
14 December 2015

Dystopian novelist Saci Lloyd visited Oakham to speak to pupils in Third and Fourth Forms about a whole array of fascinating topics, all with the aim of getting them to think creatively about writing a thriller.

Saci’s visit came hot on the heels of Joe Craig’s talk the previous day. Pupils had plenty of opportunities to get involved in Saci’s interactive session, which involved coming up with ideas about what makes a good thriller, what the characters’ backstories might be, and what might be happening at different moments in the story.

In her books, Saci focuses on what the future might hold, with technology becoming part of our very being. When these themes were combined with the stories created by the pupils, it led to some impressive results.
 
Writing a thriller with author Saci Lloyd 
  • Academic-News
floodSeventh Form geographers experience university-style lectures
14 December 2015

The Geography department took 20 Seventh Form geographers to the Institute of Education in London, where they were able to experience university-style lectures from leading academics.

The lectures focused on five global issues through the use of case studies. The five themes were; flooding, migration, climate change, globalisation and oil. The keynote speaker was Professor Iain Stewart, who gave a lecture on oil based on his BBC documentary Planet Oil.

Overall, the day was very enjoyable and not only provided the students with case studies that they can use in their forthcoming exams, but also gave them an insight into university life – something that most students hope to enjoy next year.

  • Academic-News

oakham-school-snowboardersBlog: Middle and Upper School Ski Trip 2015
14 December 2015

A group of Middle and Upper School students have travelled to Jasper, Canada to enjoy some skiing at the Marmot Basin ski resort before Christmas. Read the latest updates from trip leader Mr Steve Gorman below:

 



Thanks to 321ski and Jasper, Marmot Basin for delivering a great trip. Having led many ski trips over the years I have never received such excellent support and service by a provider or ski resort. This was the best ski trip yet with many of the pupils still talking enthusiastically about the experience and producing videos to share with friends. Thanks to the staff and pupils for making the trip so enjoyable

Planning is well underway for next year’s trip to Zell am See, Austria.
- Steve Gorman


Saturday 19 December
Updated information from the group: they will be back in Oakham at 5pm, rather than 3:30pm as planned. 


Thursday 17 December
Our final day in Jasper has been fantastic. More blue skies, a great amount of snow, and only a little colder than yesterday. Today students had the opportunity to try out snowboarding. They made such good progress that they were coming down the full mountain after only a day of snowboarding lessons. After skiing, all the students were presented with certificates for their skiing and snowboarding achievements this week. Tonight we are going to be ice skating, snow shoeing, and riding fat bikes on Pyramid Lake. Tomorrow we are all very excited about visiting North America's biggest mall! It has a theme park and water park inside!


Wednesday 16 December
Day 5 has probably been the best day yet in Jasper. Despite the sub-zero temperatures, the conditions on the mountain were fantastic and everyone was chomping at the bit to ensure that made the most of our penultimate day at the Marmot Basin. Every group was taken to the best parts of the mountain by their instructors and given the opportunity to improve their ability whilst having a lot of fun at the same time. The same goes for Mr Gorman himself, whom fell over at least three times, whilst trying to descend the mountain in record speed. Apparently there was a problem with his bindings – whatever you say, Sir! Other highlights included some angelic skiing from the “Queen of the slopes” Megan King and the opportunity to witness pupils from Dulwich College, Harrow, Wellington College and Reeds School compete for the Canadian Cup ski racing trophy. The group was also treated a geocaching session put on by Parks Canada who challenged our pupils to use GPS devices to find various hidden messages on the mountain to solve a puzzle – only one team successfully managed to gather all six clues, but, just like the day before, everyone got a lot out of the session. The afternoon was equally challenging for our pupils who were all encouraged by their instructors to improve their skill level, whilst at the same time getting the opportunity to explore new runs. Consequently, everyone returned from lunch with high hopes of improving their technical ability even further. This would be no small achievement given the mileage of our skiers, and the inevitable fatigue in their legs.

In the evening the group split into two with half going on a snow shoe walk through the forest followed by some wolf howling, hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows. The other group made the most of the clear skies above Jasper and did some star gazing through three high powered telescopes.


Monday 14 December
Today is much colder with blue skies all around. The slopes have been empty as the weekend skiers have gone home, leaving the resort pretty much to us. Most of the runs are spookily empty but brilliant to ski on, and as far as lift queues are concerned, there aren't any. The morning ski lessons went well and all seemed to have had a good time. During our lunch break we had a lecture on avalanche awareness and safety. During the afternoon sessions several explosions could be heard and with our new found knowledge we knew what was happening and why. The wildlife came to visit us today in the form of about 20 elks stood on the street corner, quite a sight. The evening activity was room cleaning/tidying before heading out in to town. All are looking forward to another queue free day skiing the freshly groomed pristine slopes. 


Sunday 13 December
Following our 7:30 breakfast we loaded up the buses and headed up the hill to the ski station. Everything ran a little smoother today and so lessons started promptly. All skiers (and snowboarders) are making great progress and certainly seem to be enjoying the conditions. The beginners have moved away from the magic carpet and have started to explore the mountain, the others are covering lots of miles and making the most of the advice given by the instructors. Skiing with the advanced group was certainly enjoyable as they are all very tidy skiers and made light work of the steeper and more challenging Double Diamond Blacks! It was certainly colder today with some light snow in the air which we are all hoping will fall more heavily overnight. We are all going out to see a local ice hockey match tonight which should be very entertaining.


Saturday 12 December
The journey out to Jasper was a long and memorable one. We stopped to change planes in Iceland. Coming in to land was spectacular with jagged  peaks sticking out of the flat snowy plains. Most slept on the 4 hour coach trip from Edmonton to Jasper. Our hotel, the Chateau, is very nice and only a few blocks from the town centre shops. Our first day's skiing was memorable for the stunning views and the excellent snow.

 Blog: Middle and Upper School Ski Trip 2015

 

  • Sports-News

gb-sailor-oakham-schoolTop 20 finish for Oakham sailor representing GB
14 December 2015

Talented Oakham pupil Phoebe Le Marquand competed in the Cesme International Regatta in Turkey as part of the RYA National Intermediate Optimist squad, where she placed 19th out of 256 competitors. She came first out of her 3 GB teammates, and was also the fifth placed girl overall.

Phoebe, who is in Third Form, said “After training for four years in Optimist squads, two years at regional level in the South Zone and now two years at national level, I felt privileged to be invited and do well for Great Britain.”

The Optimist is a small, single-handed sailing dinghy made for children up to the age of 15, and is one of the most popular sailing dinghies in the world.

Phoebe’s success comes just weeks after the British End of Summer Championship at Draycote Water in September, where she was the first placed girl. She also has plenty of upcoming events in 2016: “The next important ones are the Braassemermeer Easter Regatta in Holland, where I will be part of a large GB team, and the Selections. The Selections are very important to me because if I do well I will be able to be represent GB in one of their very top summer teams. Only five sailors go to the Worlds and six to the Europeans. It would be awesome if I made it!”

Top 20 finish for Oakham sailor representing GB  

  • Sports-News
Music scholar re-selected for the National Children’s Orchestra
Thursday 10 December

Jessica CarrCongratulations to Form 2 flautist and music scholar Jessica Carr, who has just been re-selected for the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain. Jessica will play in the under-13s orchestra next year. The NCO is Britain's premier symphony orchestra for children and it offers life-changing training and experience to budding instrumentalists. 

Members of the NCO's under-13s orchestra have two nine-day residential courses, one at Easter and one in summer, both of which end with a public concert. Previous venues have included Leeds Town Hall, the Town Hall in Birmingham and The Anvil in Basingstoke. There is also a non-residential weekend during winter which culminates in a concert, usually in the Royal Festival Hall.
  • music news

Chamber Choir 1Two national choral successes - in one week!
9 December 2015

This week Oakham’s musicians have received news that their talents have been recognised in two of the biggest national youth choral competitions. Hot on the heels of learning they have reached the semi-finals of the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year 2016 competition, the Chamber Choir were then told they have reached the finals of the Barnardo's National Choral Competition!

“To be selected for both these national competitions is a testimony to the outstanding quality of music at Oakham,” says Director of Music, Peter Davis. “It is a huge accolade to be recognised as one of the best six senior school choirs in the country in both of these prestigious competitions.”

The BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year competition will take place in Sheffield City Hall on Sunday 28 February. If the school is successful in the semi-finals, they and two other schools will go forward to the finals, which is also being filmed on the same day. The competition will then be broadcast on BBC One later on in the year. The choir will be performing the two pieces that formed part of their recorded entry – Roderick Williams’ wonderful arrangement of the spiritual “I want Jesus to walk with me”, and an a cappella arrangement of “Amazing Grace”.

The final for the Barnardo's National Choral Competition will take place in the Royal Festival Hall in London on Tuesday 9 February 2016. The choir will perform two pieces to the judges – again, the Roderick Williams’ arrangement of “I want Jesus to walk with me”, and an a cappella arrangement of “When you wish upon a star”. The choir will also perform in an evening concert, in which they will perform one of these pieces again as well as two massed choir items with the other five senior choirs and the 18 junior choirs taking part in the competition.

“It is certainly going to be a momentous few months for our choir,” continues Peter. “Very few students can say they’ve been a part of both of these competitions. As well as the competitions themselves, the BBC is also be visiting the school to film the choir rehearsing and to interview members of the choir. If this wasn’t enough, the Chamber Choir will also be performing in a concert at the renowned Brandenburg Choral Festival in London, in January, returning by invitation as one of very few school choirs at the event.”

This isn’t the first time the quality of Oakham’s Chamber Choir has been recognised nationally – they reached the Semi-Finals of the BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year competition the last time that they entered in 2012. “The students are delighted that their hard work, as well as their talents, have been acknowledged on the national stage – they are certainly looking forward to the term ahead!”

 

  • music news

author-joe-craig-oakhamAuthor Joe Craig spins a tale of his journey into writing
8 December 2015
 
Joe Craig, author of the ‘Jimmy Coates’ action-adventure series gave two highly animated talks to Oakham School pupils, first to Form 2, then to Lower One and Form 1.
 
He regaled Form 2 pupils with tales of his youth including his earlier days as a talented trumpeter before injury stopped short this career, as well as the inspiring tale of a month in California where, aged 16, he had a deathbed meeting with his favourite author, leaving him with his words of advice for writing: “tell the story”.
Pupils were both gripped and amused by the tales. But how much was true and how much was the product of the imagination of a talented storyteller…?
 
Form 1 and Lower One were also treated to the tales of the younger Joe and he used his ‘top tip’ for story-writing to show pupils how ideas can be woven together into a tale. All stories need a problem and there are 3 key types of problem in a story:

  • Impending doom – some sort of external threat to survival
  • Personal problems / relationship issues
  • Psychological issues – personal struggles / inner demons.

The pupils were asked to provide examples of these problems and Joe spun a glorious, adventurous tale using the pupil suggestions of terrorist unicorns taking over the world and a friendship with a tree!
 
So impressed with the story created from their ideas, some budding entrepreneurs amongst the pupils started negotiating royalty fees from Joe’s next book!


Author Joe Craig spins a tale of his journey into writing

  • Academic-News

Cabaret-Oakham-1Cabaret wows audiences
7 December 2015 

Oakham’s actors have put on an outstanding display of their talent in the Main School Production of John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joe Masteroff’s Tony Award-winning musical Cabaret.

The 19-strong cast wowed a packed-out theatre each of the four nights they performed. “To perform at this level – dazzling the audience each and every night – is not only impressive, but also a testament to the quality of Theatre at Oakham,” says Director of Drama, Gilly Norell.

“They adeptly showed, with great poignancy at times, the struggle of living in pre-World War II Germany,” continues Gilly. “They excellently juxtaposed the vibrancy and allure of Berlin’s nightlife, alongside the impending threat of Third Reich. They were able to depict, with a sensitivity beyond their years, the struggle faced by many during this time - of choosing between living with oblivious optimism or facing stark reality.”

Cabaret-Oakham-3Konstantin Stanchev brought an astounding level of energy and bittersweet comedy to the play as the Master of Ceremonies, Emcee. India Martin stunned the audience with her portrayal of Sally Bowles, alongside Austin Steele who expertly captured Clifford Bradshaw’s character.

The doomed romance between German boarding house owner Fräulein Schneider and her elderly suitor Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor, was wonderfully and poignantly portrayed by Ellie Tidswell and Aneurin Conant. Douglas Saxey-Santillo Hempkin played the ominous Ernst Ludwig, expertly characterising the growing influence of the Third Riech, whilst Emily Atkinson depicted Fräulein Kost with great energy, style and humour.

As one has come to expect with any performance at the QET, the set was astonishing, cleverly providing space for not only the band, but also the many levels of action that needed to take place. The costumes also dazzled, with the strong supporting cast of ‘Kit Kat Club’ girls (Beth Lawton-Sergeant, Francesca Kennard-Kettle, Jenny Shen, Clo Farmer, Sophie Blackburn, Lily McNeill, Amber Goddard, Sylvie Copley) and the team of German sailors, waiters and officers (Tom Sparrow, Nash Nørgaard Morton, Henry Gomm, Léon Moule) having a stunning range of costumes and personae throughout the play.

The audience enjoyed outstanding singing, accompanied by an expert band (Anne Mortimer, David Sun, Adam Hebditch, Andrew Jones, Imogen Fell, Tom Clough, Dickon Fell, Steve Foster and Morgan Overton) and complex dance routines – including a memorable kick line cabaret routine from the Kit Kat girls, which merged into a chilling goose-step.

A night to be remembered from an era very much to be feared.
 
Find out more about Drama at Oakham

 

  • Drama-News

Tarde de Cine
4 December 2015
  
On a mission to increase our academic enrichment for all forms, the Spanish department has held its first termly film evening for Sixth and Seventh Formers.

The film was El Libro de la Vida, by acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro of Pan’s Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno) fame. This animation centered on El Día de Los Muertos (the day of the dead), central to Mexican tradition which naturally has links to Upper School topic areas for both IB and AS/A2 courses. The evening was extremely well attended and enjoyed by all – I think the pizzas from the aptly named Amigos went down very well especially. Thank you to all who attended to make the evening a success.

Spanish

  • Academic-News

phoebe-gormley-oakham-students-entrepreneurCareers inspiration from creative industry professionals
3 December 2015

Professionals from the creative industries, many of them Old Oakhamians, spoke about their careers and gave advice to over sixty Art and Design students.

The diverse presentations ranged from a highly entertaining description of working in the shoe design industry from Richard Hallam to talks about fashion and architecture. Students were impressed by the innovation, drive and financial acumen of the guests. Architect Michael Brooke spoke of his latest work as a project manager, delivering affordable and ecological housing on a large scale, while young architect Gabriel Li (OO) impressed with the creativity of his assignments for a London architectural practice.

Previous Head Boy Tom Spall (OO) dazzled with his architectural visualisations. For graphic communication we heard from Alison Buckley (OO) and Anndi Sheppard of the range of people skills need for effective marketing, a message which was echoed by freelance photographer Elli Dean.

Young entrepreneur Phoebe Gormley (OO) showed us all how far can be travelled in a short time with determination as she described the meteoric rise of her bespoke womenswear company, from a charity workspace to Savile Row premises in 18 months. These talks were complemented by the creative freedom and versatility of artist Luke Deering (OO).

Tom Joule, founder of clothing company Joules, ended the presentations by describing the skills he looks for when employing graduates and the importance of relevant work experience to gaining your first job. Guests and audience then discussed ways of preparing for a career in the creative fields over dinner in the Barraclough.

Careers inspiration from creative industry professionals

  • Academic-News

chess-oakham-grandmasterChess Grandmaster takes on 20 Oakham pupils at once
3 December 2015

Mr Graham Lee, Oakham School’s resident chess grandmaster and former national champion, played a simultaneous chess display in the Barraclough, where he challenged 20 students to see if they could beat him.

Mr Lee is a leading chess expert – a FIDE Master, a Grandmaster of Chess Problem Solving and a British Rapidplay Champion. He is also a National Chess Coach.

During his 27 years as Head of Chess at Oakham, there has been a range of chess accolades including the School winning the National Schools Chess event twice, as well as placing as runners-up twice and Plate Champions once. Under his tutelage a student won the World U18 Boys title, and another was selected for the European U18 Boys event.

chess-oakham-grandmaster-matchSome of Oakham School’s youngest pupils, who take part in the School’s chess club, took their turns one by one as Mr Lee progressed around the room playing moves in response. Ranulph Wheway and Will Norris (both Form 1) both managed to earn the offer of a draw, which both accepted, having successfully deflected Mr Lee for an impressive amount of time.

The showstopper came after exactly an hour, when Mr Lee orchestrated his moves in such a way that he was able to checkmate 6 pupils consecutively! It was an unpredictable, exciting and, at times, nerve-racking event, which was certainly memorable for all of the pupils.

Chess Grandmaster takes on 20 Oakham pupils at once  

  • Activities-News

ccf-squadron-raf-oakham-schoolCCF RAF Air Squadron Competition
3 December 2015

Fifteen cadets from Oakham School travelled to RAF Cranwell for the RAF Air Squadron Competition. The day was made up of 6 different elements: first aid, aircraft recognition, leadership, shooting, fitness and drill. There are 33 schools in the Eastern Area and we were one of 16 who had progressed to the big day.

This was a team event and all cadets rose to the challenge and performed with an air of confidence and calm. There were also some outstanding individual performances. At the end of the day, Oakham was placed in a creditable 9th position.

Lily McNeill (Form 4) wrote the following about the experience:

“We all went outside to the parade square cold but excited, all of our practice throughout the previous weeks had come to this.

We formed up in ranks of three and waited for inspection by Sergeant Pickard. I know it was a serious moment but I found it all rather amusing and was smiling through the whole thing.
After the inspection the competition began. Overall I believe we did a very good job and am extremely happy with our display. There were a few mistakes, including us ‘right-wheeling’ into a nearby tree, but even so we continued to keep time.

To conclude I really enjoyed the whole day and I’m very impressed with what we managed to achieve. I’m excited for next year and how we will continue to improve and do better. “

 CCF RAF Air Squadron Competition

  • Activities-News

Power Cut - 1 Dec 2015 - Now Restored

[Updated 2 Dec 2015] We are unfortunately experienced a power cut in the Chapel Close area of the School yesterday afternoon and evening. This means that there was no telephone or email services to Chapel Close (including Reception), the Bursary, School House and Round House.


We are happy to report that power has now been restored.

 Oakham crest

 

  • Academic-News

Maths Challenge teamOakham through to National Maths Challenge Final
30 November 2015

Oakham have once again qualified for the Senior Maths Team Challenge National Final after sharing first place at the Regional Final held at the University of Nottingham. The team held their own against some tough competition from 20 schools and colleges from right across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
 
The team of four students consisted of Morgan Overton (F5), Leyla Mazaheri (F6), Quincy Lin and Haolin Hou (both F7). Working mainly in pairs, they scored the equal highest points aggregate of 164/180 over the three rounds of the competition: the group round (54/60); the cross-number (59/60); and the relay round (51/60). This required quick and accurate mental arithmetic skills, as well as the ability to work under considerable pressure.

Having tied for first place, the School gains automatic qualification for the National Final, to which the winners of all the regional finals are invited, for the second year running. This is held in London in February; in the meantime further independent practice sessions await for the Maths Challenge club!

Oakham victorious at Regional Maths Challenge Final  

 

  • Academic-News

salamancaSeventh Form Spanish students in stunning Salamanca
24 November 2015 

“The first week of October half term has long been associated with the Seventh Form trip to Spain and this year has seen them benefit from an entirely different experience altogether.

The stunning city of Salamanca was the destination, chosen for its clearly spoken Castilian Spanish and student feel (it boasts the oldest university in Spain) not to mention offering our Seventh Formers the opportunity to experience the best ‘marcha’ offered anywhere.

With the combination of staying with host families, language classes and work experience, our ‘hispanists’ were given the perfect opportunity to practise their Spanish throughout the day and into the evening.

Whilst the experience started out as rather daunting, our students quickly grew in confidence and vocabulary as did their love of this city, the jewel in Spain’s crown.

A testament to the trip’s success: yes, the students would most definitely recommend such an experience; yes, they would do it all again; a resounding ‘yes’ that their Spanish has improved as a consequence; and yes, they will be returning to Salamanca as soon as they can – of that I was emphatically assured. “

-Cameron Pauls, Head of Spanish

Read about the student’s experiences

 

  • Trips-News

a-streetcar-named-desireEnglish students enjoy Streetcar production
24 November 2015

A-level and IB English Literature students travelled to the Leicester Curve Theatre, where they enjoyed a powerful and compelling production of A Streetcar Named Desire. The group had the opportunity to really appreciate Tennessee Williams’ dramatic craft and vision, as it was vividly brought to life with painstaking attention to detail and shrewd casting.

English students enjoy Streetcar production  

  • Academic-News
  • Trips-News

U14-netball-county-championsU14 netballers are county champions!
23 November 2015

The U14 Netball squad was victorious at the County Netball tournament at Leicester Grammar School. They will now progress to the regional tournament in January, along with the U19 girls who also recently secured their place in the next stage of the competition.

The Oakham team beat Ratcliffe College, Catmose College and Uppingham convincingly in the group stages, and went on to meet Thomas Estley Community College in the quarter-finals. After a resounding win, the team faced Loughborough Grammar in a gripping semi-final match, from which they emerged triumphant.

Kibworth was the opposition in the final, and the teams were evenly matched, leading to a draw at full time. Both teams then had to play 2 minutes each way, and Oakham eventually took the lead with a final score of 11-8.

Michelle Northcott, Assistant Director of Sport (Girls) said, “I was so proud of the girls; they had tough matches in the semi-finals and final, but they showed determination and coped well under pressure. The hard work certainly starts now as they prepare themselves for the next part of the journey to the Nationals!”

 

  • Sports-News

willard-wigan-guest-speakerFear & Fantasy week at Oakham School
23 November 2015

Leading experts have joined teachers and students at Oakham School to take part in ‘Fear & Fantasy’ week: a packed programme of fascinating talks, workshops and activities.

Keynote speaker, the renowned art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon, began the week with an insightful discussion about fear and fantasy in the British Gothic. A range of other artists followed, including Willard Wigan MBE (famous for creating fantastical micro-sculptures) and Chelsea award-winning garden designer, Adam Frost.

It has been a non-stop week of events – including a breakfast club held every morning where different topics were discussed – including ‘Is it OK to be afraid of maths?’ and ‘Is religious belief motivated by fear and fantasy?’ Oakhamians also had the opportunity to take part in a range practical activities to help them to overcome their fears and explore myths and fantasies. This included the chance to try something new (from sports to foods), and to learn the basic techniques of how to overcome their fears, to fight off stress and anxiety.

6th-7th-form-debateStudents ran many sessions during the week, including the main student debate (Sixth vs Seventh Formers), which focused on whether fear is the most effective catalyst for success. Many staff contributed too – including Director of Sport, Iain Simpson, who discussed performance anxiety. The week culminated in professional story-teller, Rob Lloyd-Parry, telling some old fashioned ghost stories to delight (and frighten!)

This year’s event, which seeks to encourage pupils to think outside of the confines of their normal subjects, follows on from hugely successful programmes from previous years, including 'Rules & Rebellion' week and 'Truth & Beauty' week.

Fear and Fantasy 2015

 

  • Academic-News

County CupGirls 1st XI through to National Finals playoff match
20 November 2015
 
The 1st XI Girls Hockey team have earned a place in the National playoffs, after coming a close second in the Midlands tournament.
 
The girls paced themselves well throughout the day, and although they began with a draw and a loss, pulled it out the bag when it really matters, winning 1-0 against Denstone to put them through to the semi-finals.
 
In the semi-final match, the team faced their old rivals, Trent College. The girls sprang out of the blocks and were on fire from the start, scoring a great goal through a solo effort from Abi Rawlins. Penny Skipper scored again, another composed deflection from a PCA – 2-0 up in three minutes. We conceded a PCA before half-time, but held on well. In the last five minutes Oakham successfully defended four PCAs. The girls were quite composed, showed bravery and good decision-making.
 
In the final, Alice Huddlestone unfortunately couldn’t play the final due to injury, and the team ended up losing to Repton 2-0. What was encouraging was that their performance improved in the second half and the girls put up a spirited performance.
 
Penny Skipper was absolutely outstanding throughout the day, and Amy Schanschieff and Abi Rawlins also showed their class. Rebecca Foster-Collier pulled off the tackle of the season, a goal-saving diving tackle stopping Denstone from scoring. Maddie Pearce and Alice Huddlestone both showed off their international class, and Anna Gonzalez, who stood in for an injured Ali Eatch, was quite superb in goal. Last but not least, Jess Barrett-Drylie was quite superb for a junior player.
 
As runners up, the girls progress to a national playoff match, hopefully to be played in the first week of December or certainly by the end of term.
 
Results
Oakham 1 v 1 Malvern St.James
Oakham 0 v 1 Repton
Oakham 1 v 0 Denstone
Oakham 2 v 1 Trent
Oakham 2 v 0 Repton

1st XI Hockey win U18 County Cup for sixth year running

  • Sports-News

Willard-Wigan-talkWillard Wigan MBE brings microscopic sculptures to Oakham
20 November 2015

Celebrated micro-sculptor Willard Wigan, famed for his awe-inspiring work that fits inside the eye of a needle or on top of a pinhead, gave a talk at Oakham School as part of Fear & Fantasy week.

Speaking to a spellbound audience, Willard recounted how he began making his miniscule works of art when he was a small child, making homes for ants out of wood shavings. His mother encouraged his talent, telling him, “The smaller the sculpture, the bigger your name will be.” Having endured a difficult time at school, Willard was inspired to work hard and hone his craft, believing that he could have a successful future in spite of what his teachers said.

willard-wigan-2Willard also took the time to explain exactly how he made his tiny sculptures, which are only visible through a microscope. Working at the dead of night, he can only sculpt in between heartbeats to reduce hand tremors. Each piece can take between 5 and 7 weeks. His work is so astounding, it has been called ‘the eighth wonder of the world’.

willard-wigan-3Student Becky Haley said, “Willard spoke honestly about his past with confidence, capturing the hearts of the audience and inspiring with his words. Whilst coming across so down to earth, Willard left the whole room awestruck when he spoke of how his creations were made. With the air of a magician, he spoke of plucking floating fibres from the air, carving fragments of sand and painting his sculptures with a hair from the body of a fly.”

Willard also brought in examples of his work, which were in pods with built-in microscopes, to show the audience.

 

  • Art-News
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peer-gynt-1Praiseworthy performances in Peer Gynt
19 November 2015

This year’s Studio Production was an ambitious adaptation of Ibsen’s dark and poetic Nordic epic Peer Gynt, using a cut-down version of the Christopher Fry translation that still managed to retain most of the characters and humour.

Peer Gynt is the son of the once highly regarded Jon Gynt, who became a penniless drunkard, leaving Peer and his mother Åse to live in poverty. Peer wants to restore what his father had wrecked, but is outlawed after kidnapping a bride, Ingrid, on her wedding day. During his flight, he encounters many strange characters and creatures, and the play tells of his ultimate downfall and subsequent redemption.

Bernard Visser (F6) in the title role delivered his finest performance yet at Oakham, whilst Mia Day’s (F7) mature Åse perfectly counterpointed her son’s wild temperament, as did the gentle and compelling Solveig of Clara Hallam (F4). Hatty Cadman (F4) was both an engaging and repulsive Woman in Green; Lucie Gillam (F5) created Solveig’s sister, Helga, and drowned quite nicely as the Cook on the ill-fated ship that brings Peer back home.

peer-gynt-2The many exotic locations of the play were enhanced through projection which was evocative without being obtrusive, and the lighting and sound were also employed to reveal (or to hide) the multi-role action. Throughout the piece ran extracts from Grieg’s Suites, and it was brilliant to hear the familiar melodies in their intended context.

Beth White (F6) and Magi Talg (F6) produced some well-executed acting as the Steward and Huhu respectively, and Georgia Wootton-Small (F4) played a passionate Anitra. The indignant Ingrid was well portrayed by Jojo Stanton (F5). There was spirited dancing from the Herd Girls and Arabian Houris, and fine collaborative work to realise the Bøyg, the sail home, and perhaps most engaging of all, the trollish tour de force ‘In The Hall of the Mountain King’.

peer-gynt-3Final words are reserved for the three younger boys – Jack Clark Bishop (F3) who gave us Aslack, Begriffenfeldt and Strange Passenger; Sam Riley (F3) who delivered Groom’s Father, Dovre Master and Button Moulder; and lastly, and still only in Form 1, Zsolti Johnson who delighted as the Groom, Helmsman and as the Ugly Troll Child. Of their performances, Theatre Manager David Norell (who directed the production) said, “They more than held their own in the company of the more experienced actors and we look forward to seeing more of them all in future years – they delivered much and promise much, much more.”

Gilly Norell, Director of Drama, said, “Our actors performed magnificently in what was a challenging and ambitious production. It was a privilege to watch a cast, representing a spectrum of ages across the School, work together so harmoniously to produce this impressive piece of theatre, and I look forward to seeing how our younger actors develop in the years to come.”

 Praiseworthy performances in Peer Gynt

 

  • Drama-News

Cabaret-set-drama-Oakham-productionCabaret taking shape
18 November 2015

The set has been constructed and the costumes delivered for this year’s Main School Production of Cabaret. Students have been enjoying rehearsing on the newly built set in a colourful array of costumes.

Set in the midst of the decadent and flourishing creative culture of Weimar Berlin, an American writer finds inspiration in the beguiling chanteuse Sally Bowles. But as life in pre-World War II Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to help them to ignore the looming threat of the Third Reich? As their world begins to crumble, Cliff, Sally, and those around them must choose between living with oblivious optimism or face a stark reality.

You can see photos of the set going up and the costumes in the gallery on the right.

Cabaret
runs from Wednesday 25 November to Saturday 28 November at 7:45pm in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. For tickets, email theatretickets@oakham.rutland.sch.uk.

View cast list

 Cabaret taking shape

 

  • Drama-News

Andrew Graham-Dixon unpacks the fears and fantasies of the British Gothic
17 November 2015

Eminent art critic, journalist and television presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon gave a fascinating keynote lecture at Oakham to open Fear & Fantasy week.

Andrew’s talk focused on the rise of the British Gothic, and how it was used to express the fears and fantasies of a nation hurtling into modernity. Beginning with the origins of the Gothic revival at Horace Walpole’s fanciful Strawberry Hill House, Andrew took the audience on a journey into the haunting world of Victorian Gothic architecture, imagery and literature, explaining how its ideology reached far into the twentieth century and can even be identified in culture today.

Andrew-Graham-Dixon-talk-Oakham-School-Fear-Fantasy“Culture is basically a repository for people’s fears and fantasies,” said Andrew, as he demonstrated how artworks which appear to be poles apart aesthetically can be seen as part of the same Gothic tradition. For example, he argued, JMW Turner’s Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway would have been a truly terrifying vision to contemporary viewers – the idea of travelling at such a speed that the landscape blurs as you steam past it would have seemed fantastical were it not a burgeoning reality. At the same time, Henry Fuseli’s earlier work, The Nightmare, is perhaps a more overtly Gothic work that also presents fearful imagery, and was a probable influence on Mary Shelley’s Gothic novel Frankenstein.

Essentially, Andrew stated, “the Gothic of fear and fantasy is telling us what’s wrong with the world”, and he suggested that this is even true of society today. Describing the phone as "the most Gothic thing in the universe today", he commented that he believed technology was "alienating us from ourselves". On the trend of taking selfies in front of well-known works of art, he said, “I think people are frightened of not having experiences, and so they create this fantasy that they really are having the experience.” In reality, of course, the selfie-taker is looking into the camera rather than at the artwork.

The lecture ended with numerous questions from the audience, with one student astutely asking, “Is it contradictory that the Gothic is founded on fear, and is also supposed to inspire fear?” The question provoked some discussion, coming to a consensus that it was contradictory, but it also could be an exorcistic process for the artist, or to alert people to what is going on.

Fear & Fantasy week continues until Thursday 19 November, with other guest speakers including micro-sculptor Willard Wigan and garden designer Adam Frost.

 Andrew Graham-Dixon unpacks the fears and fantasies of the British Gothi

  • Academic-News

Diwali-celebrationsForm 1 pupils experience Diwali in Leicester
13 November 2015
 
First Form pupils enjoyed a night out to Leicester this week to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali. Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil and is supported by the traditional story of the Ramayana.

Pupils joined in the festivities on Belgrave Road, visiting exhibitions, watching traditional India dances, eating popular Indian sweets and even starting their own small street party. Leicester’s celebrations are one of the biggest outside of India, so we are extremely fortunate to have such a large cultural gathering on our doorstep.

In Religion, the First Form are currently studying Hinduism, and in English they are working on creative writing pieces about light; hopefully their trip to Diwali will have inspired them!

diwali-2 diwali-3

 Form 1 pupils experience Diwali in Leicester

  • Academic-News
  • Trips-News

U16 hockeyDay of success for for girls’ hockey, netball and swimming
11 November 2015

Our girls’ sports teams enjoyed some serious success last week, winning major competitions in hockey, swimming and netball all on the same day!

Hockey
The U16 Girls Hockey team took part in the Midlands zonal round at Trent College in a group of death with Trent College, Kings High, Warwick, Oundle and Moreton Hall. The girls grew in strength and confidence throughout the tournament and won the competition. They now go through as Zonal Winners into the Regional Final round.

netball u19Netball
The U19 Girls won the Leicestershire Schools County Tournament held at Leicester Grammar School. They now progress through to the regional tournament as winners in the hope of reaching Nationals in March 2016. The girls played brilliantly throughout the tournament, displaying excellent teamwork.

Swimming
The U16 girls swam against Oundle and Greshams held at Oundle School. The Oakham proved strong throughout, dominating most races and winning the swimming fixture overall.

Day of success for for girls’ hockey, netball and swimming

  • Sports-News

Scholar selected for Young Engineer for Britain Mentoring ProgrammScholar selected for Young Engineer for Britain Mentoring Programme
10 November 2015

Oakham School Seventh Former Harry Smith is one of just 17 students in the country to have qualified for the prestigious Young Engineer for Britain Mentoring Programme. This also means he has been automatically entered into the UK Young Engineer of the Year competition.

Harry, who is an Arkwright scholar, applied for the programme after submitting his idea and design for a project that has a unique and useful real-world application. His winning project design was for a wall-climbing painting robot that has the ability to climb walls, using suction, and paint them. The robot also dries the paint as it is applied and cleans itself.

For the first stage of the programme, Harry attended a Mentor Day at the National Physical Laboratory, where he had the opportunity to learn how to market a product, how to design display materials and stands, how to follow a scientific method, and of course, how to deliver the all-important elevator pitch.

Students also had the opportunity to apply for sponsorship by pitching their idea to three panels and be twinned with a company, who could provide guidance and financial backing to develop the product. “I’m feeling rightfully nervous,” said Harry, “but I’ve got utter confidence in my idea – it’s just down to how I deliver on the day.”

Harry’s preparation paid off, and he secured a mentor from the National Physical Laboratory. His project was also dubbed ‘highly likely’ to represent Great Britain at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona in May, which is the world’s largest international pre-university science competition.

"Harry is a very talented pupil and we are very proud of his latest achievement," said Tim Weston, Head of Design Technology. "We hope he is successful at achieving his place at the finals in the US next year."

  • Academic-News

Seventh Form wear pink and blue for cancer awareness
9 November 2015
 
Seventh Form students are raising awareness for breast cancer and prostate cancer in style, with the boys wearing pink and the girls wearing blue every Friday. Deputy Head Boy Nicholas Davies explains why:

Raising awareness

 “It is needless to say that breast cancer and prostate cancer are hugely significant issues to our health – they affect thousands of people worldwide. We thought that the majority of us are unaware of the prominence of these diseases and how we can recognise the symptoms. Furthermore, it is clear that young people like ourselves are often reluctant to talk about health issues amongst each other.
 
Therefore the Seventh Form, led by the Decem, thought that they could play an important role in raising awareness of these issues to the rest of the school and the community beyond that. The Seventh Form boys have decided to turn School House pink every Friday to raise awareness for breast cancer. Meanwhile, the girls have decided to wear blue to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Along with the support of the staff, our collective aim is for the whole school to become more aware of these diseases and how they can affect each one of us.”

 
Seventh Form wear pink and blue for cancer awareness

  • Academic-News

Euroscola 1MEPs for the day
5 November 2015

19 A2 & IB students travelled to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France for the Euroscola Conference.

This conference was attended by 500 school students from across the European Union, getting the opportunity to act and work as a Member of European Parliament for a day. Placed in MEPs’ seats, the students debated on current European issues like migration, youth employment and the future of Europe. They also met in committees and drafted reports, which were then presented and subjected to a vote in a final plenary session.

Oakham was the only school representing the United Kingdom and has now attended the Euroscola Conference for the eighth year in a row. The students found it a highly informative and interactive learning experience which will assist them in their studies of international relations and the EU in both the IB and A2 courses.

Students are now looking forward to next term’s visit of the Foreign Office Minister of State for Europe, David Lidington.

Euroscola 2

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Congressman LanceCongressman welcomes students to Washington
5 November 2015

Whilst on their trip to the US, Upper School Social Sciences students had the rare opportunity to meet with a member of the House of Representatives, who gave them a fascinating insight into political life in Washington DC.

Congressman Leonard Lance, a Republican representative in the House of Representatives, met with students before their tour of the US Capitol building. Congressman Lance, who represents the New Jersey 7th District and focuses much of his time of healthcare and environmental issues, took time out of his busy schedule to welcome the students to Washington. He spoke about his role in the House and also discussed America’s position globally, particularly relevant due to the mix of internationalities on the trip – German Italian, Bulgarian and Russian. His staff then gave the group personal tours of the US Capitol building, the home of US government.

Congressman welcomes students to Washington sq  

  • Academic-News
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Fear and Fantasy 2015Fear & Fantasy lectures
4 November 2015

Oakham School is hosting a week of lectures, workshops and activities for students from 13 - 19 November on the theme of 'Fear & Fantasy'. Three of these lectures by leading experts - Andrew Graham-Dixon, Willard Wigan and Adam Frost - are also open to parents, OOs and members of the local community, free of charge.

If you would like to reserve your free place, please email Megan Fairley (mjf@oakham.rutland.sch.uk) as soon as possible, as spaces are limited.

AGDAndrew Graham-Dixon
Friday 13 November

Andrew Graham-Dixon is one of the leading art critics and presenters of arts television, and has presented numerous landmark series on art for the BBC. For more than twenty years, he has published a weekly column on art, and has written a number of acclaimed books. Andrew has judged the Turner Prize, the BP National Portrait Prize and the Annual British Animation Awards, and is currently a member of the board of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead. With such a wealth of experience, his talk is sure to be a fascinating insight into the art world.
7:45pm, Wilson Auditorium

WWWillard Wigan
Tuesday 17 November
Willard Wigan's micro-sculptures are so minute that they are only visible through a microscope! Each piece commonly sits within the eye of a needle, or on a pin head. The personal sacrifices involved in creating such pieces are inconceivable to most. Willard's artwork has been described as "the eighth wonder of the world", and he has been honoured by HM The Queen with an MBE. You can view some of his incredible work here.
7:45pm, Wilson Auditorium

AFAdam Frost
Thursday 19 November
Award-winning garden designer, Adam Frost, will be giving a talk about fantasy gardens as part of Oakham’s ‘Fear and Fantasy’ lecture week. This talk is also open to members of the local community. Please do reserve your free place as soon as possible as spaces are limited. As the winner of an astonishing seven gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, as well as a whole host of other gardening accolades and a recently launched book, Adam is well-placed to discuss fantasy design. He will draw on his years of experience of creating beautiful and inspiring gardens.
6:30pm, Wilson Auditorium

 

  • Academic-News

AS PSOakham footballers selected for ISFA National squad
4 November 2015

Talented footballers Alicia Schwarzenbach and Penny Skipper were both selected for the ISFA National U18 Representative squad during October half-term. Alicia and Penny, who are both sport scholars, played two games, with Alicia scoring in both.

Both players were part of the winning Oakham 1st XI squad last year, and have previously been selected for regional and national squads.

Oakham School football coach Rob Johnson said, “It is clear to all who watch these two play that they are natural talents, the likes of which you rarely come across. The whole Oakham squad continues to enjoy their success and benefit from their generous guidance on the training field and in matches.”

Match reports
The first game was against Cambridge City Girls, and the ISFA girls had a tough first half, trailing 2-0 by half time. They began the second half more aggressively, and this paid off when Alicia scored the first goal for ISFA. Another goal from Cambridge City heightened the pressure on ISFA, but they didn’t give up, turning the pressure back on their opposition, who ended up scoring an own goal. The final score was 3-2 in a highly competitive match.

The next day, the ISFA squad faced Cambridge University Women, and they raced into a 2-0 lead within the opening 3 minutes. Cambridge University pulled a goal back before quickly adding another and drawing the game level at 2-2. Some clinical finishing and excellent long range shooting from Cambridge University saw then shoot into a 7-2 lead at half time. ISFA came out for the second half determined to make amends for the first half display and quickly added two more goals through an own goal and a spectacular long range strike. ISFA were now producing some wonderful free flowing football, one touch passing and created several further opportunities to score before Cambridge University scored an eighth goal against the run of play. This didn’t deter the ISFA girls who continued to attack their opponents and a tidy finish from Alicia pulled the score back to 8-5, before another ISFA player found the top corner from the edge of the box to make it 8-6 with 10 minutes left to play. Unfortunately ISFA could not find another goal and Cambridge University put the gloss on their win with a goal on the last kick off the match.

  • Sports-News

DSAOakham wins Digital School Award
4 November 2015
 
Oakham School is celebrating after being presented with a Digital School Award by Baroness Joanna Shields. The School won the Award for demonstrating how effectively it works to educate students and their families about eSafety.

Baroness Shields, the UK Minister of Internet Safety and Security, presented the Award at the Digital Families Conference, held in London. This conference saw experts discuss and debate how educators and parents can best help children to be safe online and to use technology effectively.

DSA2“It was certainly an honour to receive the award from Baroness Shields - who has spent over 25 years working with some of the world's best-known technology companies,” says Viv Lamb who co-ordinates PSHE at Oakham.

She continues: “Having our approach to digital education recognised is a fantastic achievement as we invest a lot of time ensuring our students and families are well-informed and engaged with this incredibly important topic. We try and blend in the eSafety education into as many different areas as possible – rather than seeing it as a discrete stand-alone topic. Ultimately we encourage our students to be considerate of how they treat others and communicate – regardless of whether this is face to face, online, via email or by text message. We work together, as a whole school to give the same clear information, message and support – regardless of whether this is in-house, in tutor group or in lesson.”

 

  • Academic-News

Statue of LibertyBlog: Social Sciences New York and Washington DC Trip
20 October 2015

Seventh Form students of Business, Economics and Politics are spending the week on the East Coast of the USA to explore New York and Washington DC. The students have been researching the famous institutions they will be visiting, such as the White House and Madison Square Garden, to get as much as possible out of the experience.

Updates from group will be posted below:


 Friday 23 October

 The final morning consisted of a brief meeting with Congressman Leonard Lance, a Representative from the State of New Jersey, who kindly assigned his personal staff to give us a detailed tour and special access to the US Capitol Building. It was a powerful experience to actually visit the building where so many important decisions in world history have been debated, scrutinised and agreed upon. The group then packed their suitcases and to the short bus journey to George Washington's family home in Mount Vernon in North Virginia. This was the perfect way to finish the tour, visiting the home of America's founding father and spiritual leader, even now. A late night flight saw us all get some sleep before returning home to our families, exhausted, but fulfilled. 


Thursday 22 October

Washington has plenty of memorials and we visited almost all of them. We visited the WW11 memorial, the Reflecting Pool, the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jnr. gave his most famous speech, the Vietnam and Korean War memorials, the Martin Luther King Jnr. memorial and finally, the vast memorial developed to celebrate the life and achievements of Franklin D Roosevelt. The students were fascinated by how much so few people had achieved in their lifetimes. Walking back towards the city, we visited the Washington Monuments, an iconic structure that provides incredible views of the city. At one point, President Obama flew over us on his return to the White House. The day was complete after visits to the various Smithsonian museums and an enjoyable dinner at the Hard Rock Café.

 


 

Wednesday 21 October

The morning section consisted of a fantastic tour of the political sights of Washington. We took a brief journey to the White House and the made the long walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the US Capitol building, marvelling at all of the enormous government buildings and their incredible architecture. In the afternoon, we visited one of the most popular venues for students, the Newseum. This is a relatively new museum that highlights the important role of the media during some of America's most significant events over the past 70 years, including Vietnam, Watergate and the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

 


 

Tuesday 20 October

 The party made an early start on its journey to the Capital, Washington DC. En route we spent a brief, but enjoyable time in  Philadelphia to learn more about the origins of the country and the Declaration of Independence that was signed in the city. Our first activity was to race up the famous steps once trodden by fictional boxing legend, Rocky Balboa. We then visited Independence Hall, the actual location where the declaration was signed, and we saw the Liberty Bell, perhaps the most significant symbol in US history that represents freedom. After another 3-hour bus journey, we arrived in Washington excited and looking forward to the historical and political activities planned for the following days.

 


 

Monday 19 October
A morning trip to the UN Headquarters and then some free time to shop at the likes Macy's and walks through Central Park. we arrived at Madison Square Garden for a a guided tour of the world's most famous arena. We also had a special briefing from the Marketing team who presented to us some amazing facts and figures regarding the commercial operations of the venue that is host to the New York Knicks in the NBA and New York Rangers in the NHL, as well as regular concerts for the likes of One Direction, Elton John and Billy Joel!

In the evening we dined together in the popular Ellen's Stardust Diner. The guests are served their cheeseburgers and sundaes whilst the staff sing renditions of classic tracks and musical theatre favourites.

 


 

Sunday 18 October
Our first full day was a busy one. In the morning we arrived at Battery Park to catch the ferry to Liberty Island to visit the world-famous Statue of Liberty. Following a brief tour and some express shopping, we then moved on to Ellis Island and the Immigration Museum to learn more about the journey taken by the millions of immigrants to the East Coast of the USA.

In the afternoon we walked around Downtown Manhattan with our guide and saw the New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street and Federal Reserve. The most impressive part of the tour was the trip to the World Trade Center site and the 9-11 Memorial. It was an incredibly humbling experience as we'll reflected on what happened there 14 years ago.

We finished off the day with dinner in Times Square and a Broadway show. We all were blown away by Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, and rose to our feet to applaud a magnificent production.


Saturday 17 October
After an early morning start and a comfortable coach and plane ride, we arrived at Newark International airport to a beautiful sunny day. We met our guide Andy and took the 60 minute bus journey into central Manhattan. After a quick check-in we walked through the busy streets and arrived at the historic Empire State Building. Seeing the city at dusk as the city that never sleeps comes alive.

  • Trips-News

BirminghamGeographers evaluate regeneration in Birmingham
20 October 2015

Seventh Form geographers are currently studying the ‘World Cities’ topic, in which they have to evaluate different regeneration schemes. Birmingham with its new library, the new Bullring and the recently renovated New Street Station is the perfect location to study this.

Led by their teachers, students went on a tour of the city centre, looking at new and old regeneration schemes. They started off by discussing the merits of the old and new libraries, in particular whether the old library which is an example of brutalist architecture should be preserved or demolished. They then looked at multi-land use regenerations schemes around Brindley Place and Gas Street Basin. They finished off looking at the Bullring and New Street Station to decide whether the schemes were sustainable in terms of job creation, style, the environment, cost and the history of Birmingham. Now they have returned to school they can use what they have learnt in their forthcoming exams.

 

  • Academic-News
  • Trips-News

Tigers at OakhamTigers come to train!
19 October 2015

Oakham School’s Doncaster Close was alive with the sound of Tigers as the entire squad came to train on our grounds.

Our pitches and facilities are renowned for their quality, and as such are a great training location – even to members of one of the most successful English Rugby Football clubs!

OOs
Oakham has long enjoyed a strong relationship with the Tigers, thanks to both our close proximity and our history of coaching links. Our Director of Coaching, Ian Smith, is a former Leicester Tigers Captain and coach. Over the last few years many current and ex-Tigers have been over to Oakham to offer coaching sessions with our rugby squads including: George Chuter, Craig Newby, Austin Healey, Brett Deacon, Tosh Askew, Graham Rowntree, and Geordan Murphy,

Training at different venues is a great opportunity for both team members and coaches – allowing them the opportunity train out of their comfort zones. The Tigers weren’t all on unfamiliar territory though – the relationship is so strong between the club and the School that an impressive 3 OOs were part of the visiting squad. Tom Croft and Matt Smith, along with team manager Matt Cornwell, were all “delighted” to be back at their old school!

It was also a great opportunity for pupils to see the Tigers at Oakham and playing on their ‘turf’ – giving them inspiration that they too could follow in their footsteps.

 Tigers come to train!

 

  • Sports-News

Voice coach Catherine Weate prepares actors for German accent roles twVoice coach Catherine Weate prepares actors for German accent roles
16 October 2015

Actors involved in the upcoming productions of Cabaret and Peer Gynt had the chance to take part in a workshop run by voice and dialect coach Catherine Weate.

Catherine has coached actors in West End productions such as Dirty Dancing and The King’s Speech, and her numerous television coaching credits include Downton Abbey and Siblings. Her previous roles include Head of Voice at Rose Bruford College and Head of Examinations at LAMDA.

Catherine taught the group useful techniques for speaking English in a German accent, a skill that some characters are required to do in both Cabaret and Peer Gynt. She explained how every accent has a ‘shape’, and also demonstrated how to truly hear your own voice by cupping your hands behind your ears.

One student said, “It was really interesting to see how thoroughly a professional explores the intricacies of the accent. The way that she built it up step by step made the whole thing seem so much more achievable! Also, the resources she gave us meant that we could go away and keep reinforcing what we had learnt, which was absolutely brilliant.”

“This was a fantastic opportunity for our young actors to learn about the science and precision of speaking with a different dialect from an expert in the field,” said Director of Drama, Gilly Norell. “This is a prime example of how we invest in our students, equipping them with skills that will far outlast their time at school.”

Voice coach Catherine Weate prepares actors for German accent roles   

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Oakhamian activityMedia Challenge: Sixth Formers report on life at Oakham
16 October 2015

As part of Monday’s Service Weekend activities, a group of Sixth Formers took on the challenge of researching, writing and designing their own magazine articles within a specific time frame, with extremely promising results.

Their brief was to produce either two articles of 600 words each or a single article of 1200 words containing advice for students who are new to the School that you wouldn’t find in the Prospectus or the Oakhamian, the school magazine. With a deadline later that afternoon to present their articles, and the promise of chocolate prizes, they impressed with the speed at which they set to work.

ArticlesIn two teams of three – boys pitted against girls – they brainstormed possible ideas then allocated jobs within their team to put the article together. After an introduction to Canva design software from Mrs Coe in the Marketing department, they were let loose on the campus to flex their journalistic muscles.

When the teams presented their articles, having met the deadline with ease, it was clear that the students had risen admirably to the challenge and produced interesting and attractive pieces of work with some fascinating insights into Oakham life.

The awards were as follows:

  • Best Pitch and Best Research were awarded to Isabella Naylor and Evie Vincent for their article titled 'The Best'. This included interviews with different members of staff on which students they considered to be performing particularly well in their areas of expertise.
  • Best Headline and Most Original Idea went to Ayesha Johal’s piece on 'Survival Tips for the Barraclough', advice on how to have a stress-free dining experience.
  • Best Layout and Best Content went to Maruta Kiyonaga, James Knight, and Lucas Ward for 'The Purple Wall', their unofficial and light-hearted guide to Wharflands House.

Media Challenge: Sixth Formers report on life at Oakham

  • Academic-News

Ben Brown playwrightEnglish students enjoy visit from award-winning playwright
16 October 2015

Sixth Form English Literature students had the fantastic opportunity to hear from award-winning playwright Ben Brown, a tutor at the University of Oxford who has written extensively for theatre, film and television.

Ben is the author of Larkin With Women (winner of the TMA Best New Play Award in 2000), and was therefore able to share lots of interesting insights with students, who are studying Philip Larkin’s poetry as one of their A-level texts. The class prepared lots of thought-provoking questions for Ben, such as “Where did you draw the line between truth and fiction in your play?” and “How can you explain the apparent contradictions between his verse and his life?”. The students will be able to use his answers and quote from him in their A-level exams, in due course.

English students enjoy visit from award-winning playwright

  • Academic-News

County Cup1st XI Hockey win U18 County Cup for sixth year running
16 October 2015

Oakham’s Hockey players are County winners for the sixth year running!

Oakham’s 1st XI won three of their four games in order to retain the County Cup. They won convincingly against Welbeck College (4-0), local rivals Uppingham (3-0), and against the tournament hosts Leicester Grammar (2-0). The last game of the tournament, against Loughborough High School, was a less straightforward encounter, resulting in a 2-1 win for Loughborough. Oakham’s attacking style of play was spoiled by some determined defending and despite turning up the pressure, they weren’t able to convert any chances. The team were still clear winners, thanks to their high goal count throughout the tournament as a whole.

“For our players to be crowned County Champions for the sixth year running is a testament to the outstanding quality of Hockey at Oakham,” says Director of Sport Iain Simpson.



1st XI Hockey win U18 County Cup for sixth year running  

  • Sports-News
JRPC selectionHockey players on the road to international success
16 October 2015

Nine talented Oakham hockey players have been selected for the Junior Regional Performance Centre (JRPC) Tier 2 activity, establishing them as some of the top players in the region. Additionally, Lucas Ward has been picked for the U23 GB Development squad, a squad that has been picked in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Alice Huddlestone, Maddie Pearce, Abi Rawlins, Amy Schanschieff, Finn Milbank Ali Eatch, Bryn Davies, Jess Barrett-Drylie and Tom Schanschieff all performed impressively at the JRPC Tier 1 competition in September, which led to their progression to the next stage. They will now either be entered into the Futures Cup competition (for U16 and U18) or attend the three-day High Performance Assessment Camp for (U15 and U17). These activities will give them the opportunity to be selected for the National Age Group squads. Selection for one of these squads is the highest honour that junior hockey players can attain.

Director of Hockey Ashley Denman said, “I am delighted that such a large number of players have been selected from Oakham. This really cements our position as one of the top hockey schools in the country.”

  • Sports-News
Mr Lashbrook with Chris King70,000 vaccinations raised through Headmaster’s fundraising efforts
15 October 2015 

Oakham School’s Headmaster, Nigel Lashbrook, has raised nearly £4,000 for Unicef after taking part in a ‘Chariots of Fire’ charity run organised by the HMC.

Mr Lashbrook joined with nearly a hundred other heads from leading independent schools from across the country, to support the charity run at the annual HMC Conference held last week in St Andrews. He raised almost £3000 in sponsorship – which was the highest total out of all the schools represented, beating the target by nearly £3000. Nigel’s fundraising efforts alone will provide nearly 70,000 injections for neonatal tetanus.

"As Headmaster I see many students and staff challenging themselves to raise money for charity. I was delighted to not only complete the run, but to be presented with a medal for being the highest fundraiser - which is clearly down to all of the staff, parents and pupils who so generously supported me.”

The run, which replicated the famous West Sands beach scene in the David Puttnam film about Olympic athletes Eric Liddell and Harold Abrahams, took place during the annual meeting of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC). Over £27,000 was raised in total, enough money to inoculate three quarters of a million babies against deadly tetanus.

Unicef Ambassador and former world champion athlete Colin Jackson commented on HMC’s charity effort: "Every nine minutes, a new born baby dies from neonatal tetanus. Your efforts to keep children safe from tetanus are inspiring. Thank you on behalf of Unicef UK for your generous support.”

 
  • Activities-News

Jacob's LadderAn adventurous Service Weekend
15 October 2015 

Oakham students faced their D of E, CCF and Voluntary Action challenges with confidence for Service Weekend. Held twice a year, the weekend provides an opportunity for students to get out of their comfort zone, discovering more about themselves and the world around them.

Pupils working towards their Bronze, Silver and Gold D of E awards set off on their practice expeditions in various locations around the country, from the Snowdonia to the Solent! Pupils prepared for the expeditions themselves, and had to carry all of their equipment and supplies with them over the course of the challenge. Gold walkers in the Peak District covered a good distance, as well as seeing the spectacular sights of Mam Tor, Kinder Scout, High Peak and Ladybower Reservoir, to name a few. Meanwhile, bronze cyclists travelled to Thetford, Norfolk, for their first ever expedition. All did a great job and the group stayed on track, making excellent progress despite being weighed down with bulging panniers. After finishing the expedition, everyone returned to school with much greater confidence in their camping and cycling abilities, and are now looking forward to their next expedition.

VAA variety of different Voluntary Action activities took place throughout the weekend, from conservation work at Launde Abbey, entertaining primary school students and residents at The Lodge Trust in Market Overton, to helping maintain playgrounds and delivering Harvest Festival food bags. Forty pupils were involved in organising and running a Harvest Party in the Barraclough for over 200 people across Rutland. As well as serving tea and cakes, the pupils provided wonderful musical entertainment, Dr Chilton expertly called a great game of bingo, and there was a well-stocked raffle which raised £315 for Homestart.

CCFMeanwhile, Fifth Form CCF recruits ventured to North Wales to be introduced to the fun of adventure training. Designed to enhance the core military characteristics of leadership, teamwork, resilience and self-confidence, the weekend was designed to be both challenging and fun. The cadets arrived on Friday evening at Capel Curig Training Camp in the heart of Snowdonia. On Saturday, half the group headed out for Tryfan – the only mountain in Snowdonia that you can’t climb without scrambling. The groups headed pretty much straight up the north face, summiting just after lunch, having negotiated some tricky sections of scrambling on the way up. The other half headed off to Llyn Padarn near Llanberis to open boat canoe and also to hone their climbing skills nearby at Fachwen. On Sunday, the groups swapped over so all the cadets experienced all the activities. All the cadets found themselves outside of their comfort zone at some stage, but all returned knowing a little more about themselves than they did before.

 An adventurous Service Weekend
 

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Harvest PartyHarvest Party at Oakham School
15 October 2015

Scrumptious tea and cakes, along with sparkling entertainment, was the order of the day at Oakham School’s Harvest Party held on Monday.

Students carried on the annual tradition, which has been running for over 27 years, of offering a fantastic afternoon of entertainment to the elderly of Rutland. Over 200 people from across the county certainly enjoyed being waited on, looked after and entertained by 40 Voluntary Action students!

“Each year the students put a huge amount of effort into the event,” says Head of Voluntary Action Kevin Beadle. “They adorned the dining hall with decorations and flowers, and with the help of school staff they made sandwiches and cakes to serve to the guests. They spent hours talking to the party-goers, serving them tea and generally making the party a real success for everyone who attended.”

The pupils provided wonderful musical entertainment, Dr Chilton expertly called a great game of bingo, and there was a well-stocked raffle which raised £315 for Homestart.

Harvest helperEach year the School dedicates two weekends across to ‘Service’ – where pupils take a break from lessons, sport and everyday school life, to either help others in the local community, or to undertake personal challenges of Duke of Edinburgh or CCF activities. A variety of different Voluntary Action activities took place throughout the weekend, as well as the much-loved Harvest Party, from conservation work at Launde Abbey, entertaining primary school students and residents at The Lodge Trust in Market Overton, to helping maintain playgrounds and delivering Harvest Festival food bags.

“Voluntary Action is an important part of life at Oakham School – it gives our students the chance to really put the needs of others ahead of their own,” continues Kevin. “The fact we have two weekends a year dedicated to different types of service and Voluntary Action really does show just how much importance the School places on developing these skills and values.”
 
Harvest Party at Oakham School

  • Activities-News

Matt Dickinson The Everest FilesPupils join author Matt Dickinson on journey to Everest summit
15 October 2015

Film-maker, mountaineer and author Matt Dickinson paid a visit to Oakham this week. All Form 2 pupils had received and read his book, The Everest Files, over the summer holiday. Following several weeks of work on it in English, Geography and Science lessons, Matt’s visit was the culmination of their studies.

As the pupils joined him on his journey to the summit of Everest, he posed numerous questions to them to truly challenge them, including:

  • What could kill you on Everest?
  •  Why do human beings seek high levels of risk?
  •  Is a 4% chance of fatality an acceptable level of risk? (Lots of pupils thought it was!)
  •  Should the 11 year old who has recently announced his intention to summit Everest be allowed to do so? (Fewer pupils thought this was a good idea.)
  • What food types would you need to take with you to Everest? And why Toffee Crisps are not a good idea)
  • How does the body adapt itself to cope with such an ascent?

Matt Dickinson authorHe also presented pupils with the the true climber’s moral dilemma: if you met a climber close to death when you were 1 hour from the summit (after 10 years of training and thousands of pounds of your own money spent), what would you do?

  • If you leave him and carry on to the summit he will surely die.
  • If you dedicate the next 48 hrs of your life to him, getting him further down the mountain safely, he is likely to live but you will not reach the summit as the window of opportunity with the weather is closing.

It was a truly fascinating talk that provoked plenty of discussion!
 
 Pupils join author Matt Dickinson on journey to Everest summit

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Euroscola studentsOakham chosen to represent UK 8 years running!
13 October 2015
 

Oakham’s A2 and IB Politics students have been selected by the EU Parliament to represent the UK out of a possible 3,500 schools in the UK at the 2015 Euroscola conference, which covers the full spectrum of the 28 member states of the European Union. Most impressive of all, Oakham’s Politics department has now represented its nation more times than any other EU school.

The students will travel to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France in October half-term. This conference will be attended by 500 school students from across the European Union, getting the opportunity to act and work as a Member of European Parliament for a day. Euroscola is a unique event for schools to learn about European integration by experiencing it first-hand. Oakham students will debate on current European issues like migration, youth employment and the future of Europe. The conference gives students the opportunity to interact and exchange information in a foreign language and also highlights the importance of cross-cultural cooperation.

 Oakham chosen to represent UK for the 8th year running
 

  • Academic-News

Young Singer of the YearMusic scholar wins Nottingham Young Singer of the Year
12 October 2015

Seventh Former Edwin Lambert won the much-coveted title of Nottingham Young Singer of the Year over the weekend. Edwin will now go through to the final of the competition, where he will compete to become Nottingham Young Musician of the Year.

Ten Oakhamian musicians in total travelled to Nottingham to compete in the biennial Nottingham Young Musician of the Year competition. Edwin and oboist Rupert Fell performed particularly well in the first round of the competition as they competed against some of the best musicians in the East Midlands. Rupert won the Woodwind Group 1 class for ages 11-12, and Edwin won the Singing Group 3 class for ages 16-18.

OboeBoth boys then went forward to compete in the competition semi-finals, in which the competition’s fifteen class winners performed again. Rupert performed admirably in the woodwind competition, acquitting himself very well alongside a talented saxophonist and clarinettist who were much older. Edwin Lambert had the longest wait as he performed last of all, but his patience was rewarded when he was chosen as the best singer of the day, winning a trophy and the title of Nottingham Young Singer of the Year. He will now compete in the competition’s final on Sunday 15 November in the University of Nottingham Djanogly Recital Hall.

The eight other musicians also performed very well: pianists Jessica Carr, singers Bethany Davis and Holly Frostwick, string players Grace Muris, Jessica Tomey and Issy Martin, and trumpeters Freddie Buchanan and Adam Hebditch. They were regularly singled out for particular praise by the adjudicators, who variously applauded their excellent tone, technical control, and the drama and maturity of their performances.

Music scholar wins Nottingham Young Singer of the Year  

 

 

  • music news
CabaretRehearsals underway for Cabaret
9 October 2015

The cast has been announced and rehearsals have begun for this year’s Main School production of John Kander, Fred Ebb and Joe Masteroff’s Tony Award-Winning musical Cabaret.

Set in the midst of the decadent and flourishing creative culture of Weimar Berlin, an American writer finds inspiration in the beguiling chanteuse Sally Bowles. But as life in pre-World War II Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to help them to ignore the looming threat of the Third Reich? As their world begins to crumble, Cliff, Sally, and those around them must choose between living with oblivious optimism or face a stark reality.

Cabaret runs from Wednesday 25 November to Saturday 28 November at 7:45pm in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. For tickets, email theatretickets@oakham.rutland.sch.uk.

CastCast
Emcee - Konstantin Stanchev
Sally Bowles – India Martin
Ernst Ludwig – Douglas Saxey-Santillo Hempkin
Customs Officer – Tom Sparrow
Fraulein Schneider – Ellie Tidswell
Fraulein Kost – Emily Atkinson
Herr Schultz – Aneurin Conant
Clifford Bradshaw – Austin Steele
German Sailors/Waiters – Nash Nørgaard Morton, Henry Gomm, Léon Moule
Waitress/ Kit Kat Ensemble - Beth Lawton-Sergeant
Kit Kat Girls – Francesca Kennard-Kettle,
Jenny Shen, Clo Farmer,
Sophie Blackburn, Lily McNeill,
Amber Goddard, Sylvie Copley

 
  • Drama-News

Happiness is a serious business
9 October 2015

Form 4 students took their happiness very seriously this week when they took part in a ‘Mental & Physical Well-Being Day’ with leading experts including self-esteem guru, Natasha Devon MBE, and teenage mental health expert, Jackie Cox. The whole day was given over to a myriad of lectures, seminars and activities - from delving into the intricacies and mechanics of the adolescent brain, to getting advice on how to shave or to buy the correctly fitted bra. Students were inspired by Natasha Devon MBE to value their health above aesthetics, to feel confident in their own skin and ‘rock their own brand of gorgeous’. They also garnered much-needed advice on the importance of great nutrition and got ‘hands-on’ with live food demos, learnt some tips on how to meditate and get enough sleep, and came away with some practical guidance on how to deal with anxiety and stress.
Mental and Physical Well-Being Day

Nigel Lashbrook, Headmaster, said: “We are very much on the front line, helping students to develop a healthy relationship with their bodies, to have good self-esteem and to be in strong mental health. Today was a fantastic chance for our students to learn some of the tools they will need to win this fight.”

He continues: “We already have a strong tutorial programme, which focuses on these issues, but we wanted the students to have the chance to fully immerse themselves in the topic - so we created our Mental and Physical Well-Being Day. It was designed to kick-start conversations and raise awareness of these important topics, which can then be further built on in the smaller, more intimate setting of tutorials.

CookeryOakham’s Mental & Physical Well-Being Day programme:

  • Jackie Cox gave two fascinating lectures during the day. Her talk on ‘The Teenage Brain – how it functions and changes’ really helped students to understand the effects of neurological changes and the ensuing chaos this causes for their daily lives (organisation, decision making, memory, sleep and self control). Her second talk gave students the opportunity to learn how to deal effectively with anxiety and stress during the coming adolescence years.
  • Students were inspired by Natasha Devon MBE to value their health above aesthetics, to feel confident in their own skin and ‘rock their own brand of gorgeous’. They left the session knowing to be really sceptical about the images used in the media and advertising.
  • Some of Oakham’s teachers also offered their expertise: with a Housemaster giving guidance on meditation and sleep, and the Director of Sport running a workshop on nutrition for teenagers.
  • The boys took part in an interactive workshop with the Shave Doctor which showed them how to shave properly, and the girls benefitted from a bra fitting workshop from the team at John Lewis Leicester.
  • Live cookery demonstrations were also ‘peppered’ throughout the day! The team from ‘Roots to Food’ invited some students to cook as they chatted through the component parts of a healthy dish. The recipes have also been sent back to Houses, so now everyone can have a chance to cook them.
  • There was also a pop-up library so that students can see how our collection of library books links into some of the issues covered during the day (both fiction and non-fiction).

 Happiness is a serious business at Oakham

 

  • Activities-News
Exchange with Ruyton Girls SchoolFarewell to Ruyton girls
8 October 2015

As term got underway in September, Oakham welcomed three guests from Ruyton Girls School in Melbourne, Australia, as part of a two-way exchange between the schools.

Olivia Dalton, Annabel Buckley and Eleanor Price quickly became active members of the school community, taking part in lessons, sports and other activities, alongside their exchange partners Issy Naylor, Liv Titcombe and Lily Squires. Experiencing a mixture of day and boarding life between them, the girls also had opportunities to make visits to the local area. They also shared their own insights into life in Australia and their own reflections regarding their experiences in Oakham.

The Oakham girls will reciprocate in July next year, spending 3 weeks themselves in Melbourne. In the process, the girls will develop their own independence and international perspectives, whilst generating friendships that may last a lifetime. They will also be joined by Eddy Loring, who will be visiting Ruyton’s ‘sibling’ school, Trinity Grammar.

The Oakham-Melbourne link is part of a wider programme of international exchanges that in recent years has seen Oakham send and/or receive students to and from the USA, China, and Peru. With Oakham continuing to develop links with schools internationally, it is hoped that this programme will grow yet further, as Oakham strives to develop pupils with broader perspectives in preparation for today’s global society.

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ForensicsCrime wave at Oakham! Young sleuths investigate...
5 October 2015

Expert detectives, aged 9 to 12, were called in to Oakham School at the weekend to investigate a series of crimes and identify the culprits. At the same time, they were able to explore the school campus and enjoy using its extensive facilities, to get a taste of boarding life at Oakham.

Whilst parents and guardians enjoyed talks from members of staff about academic learning, arts, sport and activities, the young detectives were split into four teams to begin their investigations. Each team had the opportunity to interrogate suspects in the Smallbone Library, construct identikit portraits from witness statements in the Art department, study forensic evidence in the Science labs, and investigate a cold case from the Viking age!

IdentikitThe forensics labs were a hive of activity throughout the day, as the investigators studied fibres found at the scene of the crime under the microscope. They also used chromatography to find the pen used by the criminal to write a ransom note, as well as comparing fingerprints.

At the end of the day, children rejoined their families to hear who committed the crimes and how, although our young sleuths already knew all the answers, of course. The children were also presented with certificates for their outstanding investigation skills throughout the course of the day.
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BurghleyForm 2 visit Burghley House
30 September 2015

This term, Form 2 pupils are studying the Tudors in their History lessons, with particular emphasis on Tudor portraiture and religious change. As part of their curriculum, the History department arranged a visit to Burghley House in Stamford.
 
Burghley2The Burghley Education Department provided a real insight into life as it would have been at the house during the reign of Elizabeth I. Pupils learnt about Tudor food and how it would have be prepared, from the lowly spit boy tending the fire, to the significance of seating and the often unusual types of food that would be served.
 
The portraits they viewed at Burghley gave pupils a fascinating opportunity to discover the significance of such art in its original setting and linked to their study of symbolism in Tudor portraits carried out in class. Finally they were also given an opportunity to consider the significance of the building itself with a fascinating talk by James Roberts, Head of History, about the importance of the architecture on show.
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