At the end of November, Years 7-11 officially moved well into the Top 150 schools in the Parent Power Sunday Times Schools Guide for the first time. The tables saw us move from 164th in 2018 to 123rd this year, a fine achievement reflective of our excellent staff and student body. The guide recommends 2,000 schools across the UK based on exam performance so to be recognised for our academic achievements is something of which we should all be extremely proud. Congratulations, and thank you to all those involved, this is a genuine reflection of the fantastic teaching and leadership within Years 7-11, great news to round off 2019.
The end of term is on the horizon, but we are already excited for what will be happening upon our return in the New Year. For our Sixth Form in particular there will be many events taking place as our Lower Sixth continue to think about their university applications and our Upper Sixth prepare for life beyond d’Overbroeck’s.
Here is a sneak peek at some of the events that we have in store:
23rd January 2020 (11am-1.30pm): Students will have the opportunity to have a one-to-one consultation with David Hawkins MA (Oxford), an independent college counsellor, specialising in supporting students who are interested in making university applications to the USA, UK, Canada and Europe.
5th February 2020 (4.30pm-5.15pm): Information talk on “Studying Abroad”. Perhaps you’d like to know more about summer school opportunities or you’d be interested in doing a semester abroad as part of your degree? Or perhaps you’d like to apply to international institution for the duration of your time at university. This talk will be a great introduction into the sort of opportunities that are available.
13th February 2020 (6pm-8pm): “An Introduction to the UCAS Process: A Talk for Lower Sixth Parents” (students will have the opportunity to hear the talk during an enrichment session).If any parent is interested in attending, please contact Alex Coburn to book your place.
When it comes to ensuring that our students are prepared for their lives after they leave d’Overbroeck’s, we’ve got them covered with our range of careers and university advice. One example is giving them links to useful resources such as the Student Budget Calculator Tool to help them think about the likely cost of living at their chosen universities.
We also signpost our students to apprenticeships that might be of interest as we understand that sometimes university is not always the destination for everyone. For example, we encourage some students to consider options like the legal Apprenticeship at Deloitte. This is a six-year Level 7 programme offering the opportunity to gain qualifications equivalent to a Master’s degree and a permanent position at Deloitte as a solicitor. The deadline for applications is January 6th 2020 so anybody still interested should make sure they apply soon.
This is just a snapshot of the opportunities and resources available to our students as they plan their future endeavours and certainly isn’t an exhaustive list. We pride ourselves on the range of material and initiatives that our students have access to as they think about their next steps, whether that be studying at university or pursuing an alternative such as an apprenticeship.
Alex Coburn, our Head of Careers and Higher Education is always happy to answer any questions about the higher education initiatives we have at d’Overbroeck’s, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know that we have started an Instagram Advent Calendar to showcase the wonderful staff and students from across our whole school? If you haven’t yet looked, please do follow us @doverbroecks_oxford and like the posts! You can also keep up to date by searching for the hashtag #wearedoverbroecks
We’re highlighting individuals from The International School, Years 7-11 as well as the Sixth Form to celebrate the people who make d’Overbroeck’s the special place that it is. So far we have seen Nikol from TIS, Alasdair from the Sixth Form, Sarah from Years 7-11, Atticus from The International School and Rose from Sixth Form. Our sixth ‘instalment’ is coming later today! Watch this space….
With the next General Election on the horizon, has there ever been a more appropriate time for a student election?
Our Years 7-11 school has seen a huge number of students who have expressed an interest in staging their very own political election to echo the one happening in Westminster next week.
With so much going on in Parliament, it can be hard to keep up with everything. As we develop our students’ broader awareness of life outside d’Overbroeck’s, this is a great activity to get them thinking about wider political issues. Rob Pollard, teacher of History and Politics has enlisted the help of three other staff members (Christopher Bright, Sarah Sheckleton and Helen Stacey) to guide students through an election of their own so that they understand how the process works in real-life politics.
The main political parties are in the running and the candidates will be putting up their election posters in the coming days as the campaign kicks off in earnest. Next week on Monday 9th December there will be a hustings event from 8:40-9:25 in the Leckford Hall, chaired by Joe Bibby, Teacher of Physics and Science, with questions coming from the audience of students. Behind the scenes, the individual parties have been holding meetings candidates are being selected and the election campaign posters are being finalised by the students.
Voting will happen on the morning of Thursday 12th December, with the results being announced at the end of the school day.
The only question that remains is how will our country students will vote?
On Wednesday 27th November, three members of our Debating Club, Eanna Ferguson, Alice Summerfield and Grace Lawrence, represented d’Overbroeck’s in the first round of the annual English Speaking Union (‘ESU’) Debating Competition.
The debate was hosted at Headington School, and involved local schools. The best 3 teams on the night would go through to round two in the new year. As you can see, we were up against tough opposition. All the teams on the night were well prepared, with coherent and fluently delivered speeches.
The motions and teams are as follows:
This house would make voting compulsory
Proposition: Cheney School Opposition: St Clare’s Oxford
This house would limit each person to one return flight per year
Proposition: Headington School Opposition: Oxford High School
This house would abolish trial by jury
Proposition: St Edward’s School Opposition: d’Overbroeck’s
For d’Overbroeck’s, it was a special night for Grace, as she was both returning to her former school, and making her public competition debut. Similarly, Eanna, though experienced in other forms of debating, was making her ‘ESU’ debut.
After a 15-minute deliberation, the judge announced the final results. The three teams to go through to round two are..[drum roll please..]..Headington, St Edwards and…d’Overbroeck’s.
Roll on round two!
On Wednesday night, students from across our school performed in our Winter Concert and brought to life festive pieces from multiple musical genres.
We had a violin duet, a dance troupe from The International School, singers and instrumentalists from 7-11 who formed part of our choir and orchestra, among a host of Sixth Form musicians. The number of our ensembles is growing throughout the school which is extremely encouraging as this shows that more and more of our students are confident enough to become involved with music activities.
We had items from our string quartet, vocal group, and even a flute and harp duo added to the mix. Not only this but we saw performances from groups who have formed in their own time – big credit must go to our motivated and enthusiastic Sixth Formers. There were polished solos from just about every style and genre ranging from jazz and classical piano to a violin hoedown, rap, metal, pop, swing.
A member of the audience was heard saying during the interval, “It’s hard to believe that this isn’t a specialist performing arts school!” – high praise indeed.
The success of the production is thanks to the talent of our students and also the quality of our teaching staff who train and encourage our musicians to perform at their very best. We encourage students who are interested in music in any capacity to pursue musical activities whenever and wherever possible and by doing so can develop their abilities and also share their talent with the rest of the school.
An impressive evening that showcased the breadth of our musicians’ abilities throughout the entire school.
Scotland, attacked by Norway, splintered into rebellion, carpeted with the dead, is close to ruin. As the Lords and Ladies feast in lavish dining halls, feral children roam the streets. A dark power has been awoken.
Vaulting ambition may give Macbeth the crown, but it will come at a terrible cost to both himself, his wife and the country.
d’Overbroeck’s Drama department presents a bold, dynamic and ambitious staging of Shakespeare’s most frightening play, performed by students from across the school. Our students have all been dedicated to rehearsals since before half term and are excited to get up on stage and show off their acting ability and interpretation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays.
Containing violence, blood, loud noises and scenes that some may find disturbing, this production may not be suitable for very young children. There are very limited tickets still available, please contact email@example.com.
The production will be held at The Cohen Hall at 7pm on the following days:
- Tuesday 3 December
- Wednesday 4 December
- Thursday 5 December
- Friday 6 December
We’ve been holding multi-mini interview (MMI) simulation for our Lower Sixth Medicine and Veterinary Medicine applicants – a format used by most Medicine and Veterinary Medicine schools… also known as “speed-dating” interviews! With only seven minutes for each time slot, every candidate met each interviewer before moving on to the next one for a true grilling. With the help of four Upper Sixth volunteers (Fadeelat Alli, Alice Summerfield, Cleo Turner and Xanthia Woltjer), and one ex-student (Joseph Wakefield), we set up five interview stations in the Biology Lab to test a variety of skills ranging from empathy and integrity to communication, logic and reasoning, and of course, academic ability. Our four candidates (Tony, Michael & Nikola for Medicine, and Honor for Veterinary Medicine) made the rounds in a very intense session that was followed by useful and comprehensive feedback.
Yesterday we also had Dr. Louise Hoult, a General Practitioner, conducting the fourth and last of this term’s external mock interviews for our medical / vet applicants. These mock interviews are a great opportunity to give our students the best competitive advantage as they prepare for their university applications.
It’s an especially musical time for us here at d’Overbroeck’s. Last week saw us continue our wonderful ‘spotlight series’, the mini concerts where we feature a different instrument each time – this instance being piano. It was a memorable production for two reasons; one being the quality of the performances and two, for bringing all three sections of our school together under the banner of music.
The audience were impressed by the students’ confidence and fluency as their performances allowed us all to relax to jazz, classical music and even improvisation. Brilliant delivery by all, thank you. To see a programme of all of the pieces that were performed, please click here.
Calling all actors/singers….
We are seeking a small group to make up a chorus of wedding guests for our upcoming opera, The Marriage of Figaro. Please see Richard, Rachel or Lianne for details. A fantastic opportunity for our students to experience the magic of opera first-hand.
Also, don’t forget we have our Winter Concert tonight! There aren’t many tickets left, so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot.
On Monday 18th November, Ms. Elizabeth Belcher, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the Oxford University Hospitals, spoke to our Biology+ students about her fascinating career in a talk titled “A theatre of one’s own”. Elizabeth explained how the requirements to become a doctor are very different to becoming a surgeon. She then showed our students several somewhat “gory” videos of lung surgery (which entertained and horrified the students equally!) She also talked about the difficulties in carrying out keyhole surgeries and how robots might be used in the future.
She then really brought her talk to life for our students when she set up a number of stations to show some of the basic techniques that keyhole surgery requires. Tasks involved threading a shoelace through a polo mint or picking up dice or sugar cubes while looking at a projected image on a screen. This simulated the dexterity required by real-life surgeons*. The students enjoyed the activity and became either frustrated or elated depending on whether the shoelace slipped out of the hole or if they managed to tie a knot successfully!
In general, it’s been a hugely busy week for our Sixth Form Biologists with our Upper Sixth making their way to the Natural History Museum for a lecture entitled “Diversity of Animals: Darwin to DNA. Lectures such as this are great practice for our students as we prepare them for life beyond d’Overbroecks. In addition to this, we’ve held multi-mini interview simulations for our Lower Sixth, the renowned ‘speed dating’ format used by most Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Schools – keep your eyes peeled for our post about this tomorrow that will give more detail!
Many thanks to Shanti, Jaime and the Biology Department for organising and facilitating these events and making sure that our students experience high quality opportunities to expand their breadth of understanding. Giving our students exposure to real-world experts allows them to learn outside of the classroom, a habit we want to encourage beyond their time at school.
Finally, a huge thanks to Elizabeth for visiting d’Overbroeck’s to deliver this insightful talk and also for giving our Upper Sixth future medics and vets valuable interview advice.
*No polo mints or sugar cubes were hurt in the process.