On Wednesday 7 November the Lower Sixth Psychology students attended a conference held at the University of Warwick. They heard speakers on topics ranging from ADHD to neuroscience, and were amazed at the perceptual tricks performed by Magician Matt Pritchard. The real highlight of the day was the headline performance by Peter Lovatt AKA ‘Dr Dance’ who spoke about research into dance and its emotional and evolutionary advantages, and who even had us all up dancing in the lecture theatre!
A visit to London is never the easiest but when the opportunity arose to do two trips on the same day, our Upper Sixth and Lower Sixth Business students jumped at the chance. Some of our lessons have recently focused on the money in football, so first it was off to Chelsea Football Club for a ‘Business of Football’ tour.
Given the match day gate receipts, the TV money and £200m sponsorship deals, you’d think Chelsea were rich, but when you look at the no expense spared changing room and purpose built gym with indoor running track you can see why that isn’t the case.
From financials to operations and human resources this tour had it all. What could top it? Maybe a trip to a Brewery? On the way home we popped into Fullers historic brewery on the Thames for a one and a half tour which traced the operations of the how their beer is produced. Continuous innovation and investment in new capital are all required to remain competitive against the larger multi-national brewers.
Business gold dust included the importance of the family owners for a long term culture, paternalistic leadership style for fostering productivity and the importance of heritage for the brand. Thanks to all that helped in the trip… not least the businesses themselves for preparing such a thorough brief which allowed students to enjoy themselves but also to learn a great deal.
On Thursday evening, some of this year’s Business and Economics students enjoyed their first taste of university seminars when they attended a talk at the Said Business school, part of the University of Oxford.
Students enjoyed the entrepreneurial story of Annoushka Ducas (formerly of Links of London and now Annoushka exclusive jewellery) who spoke about how she started Links of London and grew it into a business worth £50m by the time it was sold in 2007. Students gained great insight into the challenges faced when growing a business from one initially making 100 cufflinks for Harvey Nicholls into a firm with over 50 of their own shops and multiple concessions.
The event was part of the ‘Inspiring women’ series at the Said and it’s safe to say the students (and the teacher) definitely left inspired!
A big thank you to the Oxford Said for opening up these talks to a wider audience.
It was at Court Place Farm, the home of Oxford City that our Sixth Form football team recorded their second win of the season. Within the first 20 minutes they were 3-0 up with goals from, Caio Goodman, Matt Maudsley and Angus McGregor and but for a defensive mix up which allowed OLA to pull a goal back, they continued to dominate the game.
After the break, d’Overbroeck’s tightened their grip still further, with Matt Maudsley scoring his second to make the score 4-1, and, with just ten minutes to go Matt, now on a hat-trick, unselfishly squared the ball to Ryan Perrett who made it 5.
With many of the usual starting 11 away on trips, it took a real team effort to perform in such a dominant manner. Man of the Match was Matthew Maudsley who stepped up from Year 11 two grab two of the goals. Special mention must also given to fellow Year 11s Dan Gowler and Reuben Reed Sanderson for solid displays.
Oxford City football club are close to making history with their recent success in the F.A Cup, and d’Overbroeck’s student, Horatio Hirst (pictured below), played his part, coming on for ‘The Hoops’ in the last 15 minutes of the game to help secure what was a famous victory.
City, who play in the National League North (the sixth tier of the English football league system) were playing away to Colchester (who play in League Two – two tiers above Oxford City) and won the game 1-0 with a goal in the 46th minute.
They now face Notts County in the second round and we wish Oxford City and Horatio well for what we hope will be a memorable encounter!
In an increasingly digital age, old-fashioned libraries are an unusual experience for many young people. However, last week the Upper Sixth Film Studies students enjoyed a visit to the Reuben Library at the BFI, in order to undertake independent research for their coursework projects.
This year students have chosen research topics that reflect a wide range of interests including the representation of Chinese mythology in Hollywood blockbusters, the cinematography of Roger Deakins, the representation of women in 1930s screwball comedies, and the editing style of Sergei Eisenstein. The conventions of research libraries were a new experience for students, who had to learn how to submit requests for books and journals be ordered from storage.
Harry Woodfin said, “It was good to be able to dip into a large number of texts and just read one chapter before deciding which would be useful. And I loved the architecture of the BFI and National Theatre.”
Tom Stopford also noted that although some of the material was aimed at university students and therefore too academically challenging for A level, nevertheless “it was useful not just for the specific information I read but the way it helped me to think more broadly about my topic”.
With more than twenty performers from Years 7 through to Year 13, the programme for the first of our Festival Series was an eclectic one, from Holly Fratter’s ornately decorated interpretation of Purcell’s Fairest Isle and Reuben Reed-Sanderson’s sensitive portrayal of Quilter’s Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal, through to Ruth Balhetchet’s accomplished self-accompanied rendition of Grohl’s Best of You.
Among the variety of solos were several ensembles including Bea Arden, Romany Harber and Amy Monteith’s, a capella version of Alicia Keys’ Girl on Fire. As well as hearing polished performances given by our more seasoned students such as Amelia Withers and Clara Nicholson, we were delighted to see some of our newer d’Overbroeck’s students take to the floor. Emmie Bailey gave a particularly moving performance of John Lennon’s Imagine as she accompanied herself on the piano and Millie Petrovic, Ciara Stimpfig and Danica Johnson joined together to bravely open the concert with their own lyrics set to the melody of John Legend’s All of me.
The evening concluded with the newly formed Year 8 band with their own rock-inspired arrangement of Vance Joy’s Riptide.
Many thanks go to all our talented singers for having the courage to stand up and sing in front of peers, family and friends and provide us all with such a vibrant and uplifting evening. Thanks also go to Lianne who organised this wonderful event.
Recently, we were visited once again by Dr Aric Sigman, who made an impression on many staff, parents and students last year with his talk on screen time and the teenage brain. This time he was speaking about teenagers and their body image.
Despite being a potentially tricky topic, Dr Sigman managed to put students at their ease whilst maintaining an upbeat and frank tone. He discussed the impact of social media such as Instagram, and showed the students pictures of celebrities in their natural and photoshopped states. The differences were subtle but worryingly transformative. His message to be sceptical and questioning of the media was targeted at both the girls and boys and he explained that boys are now under increasing pressure to look more muscular and toned, even as teenagers. Our students engaged with the talk in a mature way and Dr Sigman complimented them on their openness.
It was great to see an expert demolishing media myths about beauty; but perhaps more important was something that Dr Sigman said towards the end of his talk: that there is more to life than worrying about what you look like! If there is one thing students hopefully took away from the talk, it is that striving towards other qualities – such as kindness, perseverance or empathy – is likely to make you a much more interesting and rounded person.
Assembly was recently taken by the English department, the theme being Monsters in Poetry. Year 11 students Anya Carr, Ioan Oosthuizen and Rory Baker read us monster-related verse, including The Kraken by Alfred Tennyson and some of Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. Joseph Armstrong also bravely stepped up to give us an impromptu reading of Jabberwocky and Magnus Fraser-Jones gave us a snippet of Caliban, as he is soon to play the role in the school’s production of The Tempest.
From this, the English department launched the Leckford Poetry competition – a new idea for this academic year. All students are invited to enter from Years 7-11 and the Sixth Form English students will be the judges!
On Tuesday we had our annual visit from the Fire and Rescue Blue Watch team who came to deliver the Choices and Consequences presentation to Year 11 students during their PD session. This is a powerful presentation highlighting the dangers of driver distractions including the use of mobile phones as well as not wearing seatbelts, speeding, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The presentation contained some difficult material and graphic images which I am sure will have a huge impact on all of those present and influence the choices they make as they get into vehicles either as passengers or as young drivers. A huge thank you to Lewis and James, our presenters on the day.