Congratulations to Harry Rowland, currently at Framlingham College, for his rugby achievements in the past year. Attaining his 1st International Test cap for Denmark U18s and will also be playing two further Test matches for Denmark later this year. He has also won RFU National Award for an outstanding contribution to the Young Rugby Ambassadors programme.
Many congratulations to Leilia Paske for being selected to represent the Great British Eventing team at the Racesafe Junior European Championship at Fontainebleau, France in July of this year. Leilia left OBH in 2014 to go to Ipswich High School, is now studying A Level History, Geography and Religious Studies at Stowe School.
The Year 5 Camp Out was amazing. When school finished, we got changed and then carried our things over to the Outdoor Classroom. When everyone had finished putting their tents up, some children played cricket and others played at Rory’s Place. When it was time for supper, we had burgers in the Wild Café – Mr Swiney made the best burgers in the world! We all had so much fun playing again, until it was time to sit round the camp fire. The biscuits and hot chocolate were delicious. Some children told stories and then we all went into our tents and fell asleep.
I strolled down to the camping area which was next to the Outdoor Classroom. I heard the peacock’s cries and the snapping of a twig. It took some ‘fanagaling’, but we all eventually put up our tents! When it was time to play, I went straight to the trampoline, where Ilyssa, Maggie, Ben, Izzie and I were bouncing and bouncing. Then I heard a voice shout, “It’s time for supper at the Wild Cafe”. I couldn’t wait – the burgers were amazing and the efficiency of the waiters was phenomenal. After that, we could play again. I decided to relax; it was paradise. Just as I was dozing off, I heard a voice say, “Pudding!” Everybody rushed to the Outdoor Classroom, where we had a very nice ice cream. I wrote a special review of the Wild Café and overall I gave it 4 stars.
The Camp Out was amazing and very exciting. We had so much fun organising the Wild Café. Cecilly, Phoebe, Izzie and I took the orders. As the sun began to set, I heard owls hooting, twigs snapping and a peacock cry. We had so much fun putting up out tents; the atmosphere was amazing. Just before we went to bed, we all sat by the fire drinking hot chocolate and listening to stories. Although I didn’t get much sleep, I had lots of fun and it was relaxing in our huge tent. Everyone had a wonderful time; thank you to all the teachers who stayed and looked after us.
The Gordonstoun Challenge is one of the most famous and iconoclastic events in the UK prep school year. Indeed it is something of a privilege for those schools who are fortunate enough to be invited to send a team to take part in this competition which has been running for nigh on 30 years. With that in mind much time and expertise was spent in ensuring this year’s team from OBH would not only do themselves justice but also build upon the good name of OBH itself. And so it proved over the day and a half that Annabel, Violet, Scarlett, Freddie and Edward faced up to and mastered a great number of physical, technical and creative challenges, all of them with a smile on their face and a grace and unity that drew the admiration of all those who ran the programme and all of their rivals. It was only right and proper that OBH should pull off a commanding victory in the grand finale on the rather grand south lawn on Gordonstoun in front of a large number of
dignitaries and assembled guests. This was a weekend that all who were participating in looked forward to with much hope and enthusiasm. It did not disappoint, and as importantly nor did OBH’s representatives.
Old Buckenham Hall achieved the top rating of ‘excellent’ in all areas following their recent ISI inspection in May 2018.
The Inspectorate said “The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements [and] the quality of the pupils’ personal development is excellent”.
Headmaster Tom O’Sullivan said “I am delighted that the hard work of all the OBH pupils, staff and wider community has been recognised in the report on our school”.
The report states “pupils of all ages are energetic, enthusiastic, confident and happy learners” who make excellent progress and “achieve high levels of success in scholarships and senior school entrance examinations”. They embrace the next steps in their education with “confidence and excitement” and their “self-confidence and self-awareness is excellent as a result of strong teacher support and excellent pastoral care”.
The Inspectors commented that “Pupils benefit from a rigorous curriculum with many opportunities”. Some of the examples given include: an extensive range of physical activities and sports, exciting challenges that require strong team work skills during Old Buckenham Explorers and drama and musical performances in a variety of groups and situations. In Pre-Prep there are many opportunities for outdoor learning and role play. Pupils use natural materials to create patterns and designs and simple graphics programmes to create their own pictures. Boarders have plenty of time to relax and play outside, including occasional supper-time picnics and cycling around the school grounds. Enthusiastic teachers have high expectations, offer outstanding support and challenge to pupils of all abilities. Pupil’s individual interests, gifts, talents, effort and achievements are recognised and celebrated.
We will be welcoming our new Headmaster, David Griffiths, together with his wife and their three children in September. David is very much looking forward to meeting prospective parents either at our next Open Morning is on Saturday, 6th October 2018 or for an individual visit. For more information and to view the full report visit www.obh.co.uk.
Musicians from OBH performed in the latest concert in Lavenham Parish Church’s Vox recital series last Saturday. The senior String Group, the Chantelles and solo players and instrumentalists delighted the audience’s lunchtimes with a superb concert. They were great ambassadors for the school in their performing and their professionalism.
The boys and girls from Year 5 to Year 7 have settled calmly back into school and have been completing some extra revision in the evenings before the exams this week. Since the Year 8’s have finished their final exams they have been able to enjoy a relaxing weekend whether being pampered to perfection or run ragged outside on Saturday evening.
Many cucumbers and avocados were used to sooth the pores and some were even consumed with great delight whilst the feet were massaged with oils and lotions galore. “Mamma Mia!” I hear you all say – however, it was the girls that relaxed in front of this musical matinee sampling the tasty treats laid on by the kitchen staff. The boys enjoyed Max’s birthday supper before playing rough and tumble games outside which were followed by hot chocolate and treats before bed.
On Sunday the children piled into breakfast in their pyjamas and all filled themselves up in readiness for the Parents’ and Pupils’ Golf and Tennis or time in the swimming pool. This was followed by the Big Timber Construction in the afternoon. The boarders became absorbed in the big woods, building their shelters and dens as well as riding their bikes and enjoying the evening as well. During supper we all celebrated Sam’s birthday.
Rest for all was required before the school exams began on Tuesday and it was good to see the children approaching them calmly and methodically.
This was going to be a very different expedition from last year’s Year 8. We replaced mountains with the flat rural landscape of Suffolk, but added in the concept of self-sufficiency, survival and bush craft. The aim to get all 24 Year 8’s living in the ’wilderness’ as efficiently as possible, using the skills that they have learnt throughout the last three years.
The first phase is always the more challenging. The sudden realisation that actually it is all about them working through problems and as a team, can have a profound impact. We arrived at our
location around lunch time, and once all the safety briefs had been done, it was down to them to get themselves sorted. First challenge, build a water proof shelter, dig fire pits and prepare for their
first night under the woodland canopy. There was little or no staff involvement throughout the entire challenge, so it was up to them to make sure they completed all their tasks.
Six hours later the children had finished enough of their shelter to keep them dry, but the fire challenge was proving difficult. Just before dark they managed to get the fire going, which meant hot water, food and warmth. Phew! I would like to say that they all slept well the first night, but by all accounts it was a slightly restless night’s sleep but credit to the children, they identified issues
with their shelters and made sure they rectified them in the morning.
Day 2 was a day of building and various other projects. By the time the sun set they had had to build a ‘bush kitchen’, fire pit/social area, smoker/cook house, and wood store, as well as tend to their personal admin, eat and collect water. The group cracked on, and it was hugely pleasing to see what they achieved as a group. They worked tirelessly all day to complete the tasks, and by late afternoon, the fire area was completed, with seating, the smoker was built, with fish and beef jerky smoking on it, the bush kitchen was built and all shelters completed. The children prepared a beef stew, with root vegetables and stock, which bubbled away all afternoon on a low fire. That evening they ate like kings and queens.
The second night seemed to be more comfortable, and attention was turned to navigation and energy levels for the walk back. This was always going to be challenging, tiredness and aching muscles were going to be the main issues, but they rallied and completed the walk in just over three hours.
They were a challenging few days. Taking the children outside their comfort zone, and asking them to be completely self sufficient was a big ask, but I am pleased to say they came through it all.
Many congratulations to them all, I hope that they take this experience away with them, and realise that actually they are far more capable then they think they are. Well done, to all.
Nick Warren (Year 8) is embarking on a mammoth challenge straight after the end of term to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, by cycling from Calais to the French Alps in seven days! This will be a distance of 550 miles at between 70-80 miles per day, with no support crew and only his dad for company. This is a challenge that would make most adults very nervous, but Nick has a very good reason for taking this on. Nick’s grandfather lost his long battle with Alzheimer’s just before Easter, and that loss has inspired him to take the opportunity to raise money for further research in the hope that other families might avoid the great sadness of watching a loved one suffer in the way that his has. His target is £2,500 although he would be delighted to exceed it!
Nick has been training over Easter and half-term, building the miles and also taking on some big climbs in the French Alps, with the main event starting on Monday, 9th July. The challenge is not only to deal with the significant distance, but also whatever the weather throws at him, the fatigue and a sore backside, as well as any mechanical issues that are experienced along the way. The Jura mountains also need to be crossed before the Alps, and the ride will also involve climbing 4,700 metres of hills, which is the same height as Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak. There will be daily updates, photos and videos on the Face-book page (@Coast2Cols) during the ride and there is also a Just Giving page if any members of the OBH community feel inspired to support his efforts: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/NickWarrenCoast2ColsforGrandad
OBH has been chosen as one of six winners in the WaterAid School of the Year Award! We are thrilled to have received this award which recognises the contribution that the whole school community has made in raising awareness and funds in support of WaterAid whose goal is to bring clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to everyone, everywhere within a generation.