January, 2019:

Scholarship Success

Massive congratulations to Annabel (Year 8) who today found out that she had gained her Art Scholarship to Monkton Combe. The best thing about my job is seeing the delight on the face of someone when they hear such news. She deserves much applause for a well-deserved success and many thanks to Mrs. Bolton who has supported Annabel throughout.

Anglian Water

We welcomed back Richard Park from Anglian Water to work with students in Years 7 & 8. The two sessions centred on the ‘Water Supply Challenge’. This a creative way for our students to enhance their team work skills whilst challenging them to design, build and test a water supply network. This STEM activity simulates a real life engineering project with the aim being to complete a fully functioning water network to ‘supply’ customers with water. The students needed to ensure a satisfactory flow from tower to tap whilst being mindful of the land use where their pipes would run, paying particular attention to Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). At the end of the exercise, real water must flow to all Anglian Water customers which included an Eco town, farm, hospital, factory and, of course, a school.

Excellent team work, planning, effective communication and problem solving was the order of the day. Teams were set a budget of £12,000 and with this they had to purchase suitable pipe lengths, a range of connectors and then ensure that any land purchases and required engineering did not push them over budget. We quickly learnt who the best planners, accountants and problem solvers were and as teachers it was fantastic to observe our students demonstrating a range of key skills and superb synergy.

At the end of the planning and constructing phase the students then had to test their pipelines to ensure that there were no leaks and that every site received the required water. Some teams were more successful than others but we were delighted that there was no escaping water in anyone’s network, an excellent achievement in itself! Every site received varying amounts of water and on occasion near flooding was just averted thanks to eagle eyed watching students.

The Library is Open

How much laughter can four walls take? A lot apparently!

How lovely to see a room full of happy children gasping at our new beautiful library and laughing until their bellies ached!

The wood panelled walls were first awoken to the beautiful voices of the Piccolo choir whose rendition of the song ‘A Cover is not a Book’ from the new Mary Poppins film was truly amazing. Our visiting author, James Campbell, then cut the red ribbon and declared our new library ‘Open’!

For the entire morning, every year group had an hour long session of pure comedy, with James Campbell not only telling us a bit about how he became a writer, tips for writing stories and reading us snippets from his books, but he answered all the weird and wonderful questions asked of him by our children – brave man!

He entertained us with stories, a very popular story being the ‘Umbrella tree’, and with many anecdotes from man toys to old people’s stairlifts – he had something for everyone and somehow managed to make every single year group roar with laughter from Nursery right through to Year 8. What a wonderful first morning in the library!

Next week now sees our week long Book fair in conjunction with Aldeburgh Bookshop. If we have not had your reply slip yet, please confirm to Louise Coates by email: schooloffice@obh.co.uk as to whether you would like your child to purchase any books and to what value can be added to your school bill. Aldeburgh Bookshop have selected the best fiction out there for all age groups at Old Buckenham Hall. Each child will also be given a tour of the library and introduced to our catalogue system, Junior Librarian.

Show Jumping & Tennis Champions

Congratulations to Albie for becoming the Eastern Region NSEA Grassroots Show Jumping Champion. Competing at Topthorn Arena in the 50cm, 60cm and 70cm heights, Albie came
first in both the 50cm and 70cm classes.

Congratulations to Oscar (Year 5) on a brilliant month of tennis. Oscar has played superbly to win two LTA tournaments in Norfolk, finish runner up in another LTA tournament in Essex (whilst playing a year young) and most impressively, winning an LTA Regional competition in Ipswich just before Christmas. Finally, he was selected to play number one for Suffolk against Cambridgeshire two weeks ago. All of this is hugely deserved and a testament to how hard he works every  single time he steps onto court.

Bowling & Dunston Harriers Point to Point

Bury Bowl welcomed the boarders on Saturday night. It was not long before multi-coloured footwear was donned and big heavy circular objects were hurled at some oddly shaped objects at the
end of the wooden runway having bounced off several other surfaces before loitering, abandoned in the gutter. Yes, a whirlwind of sound and activity was greeted with howls of laughter and mimicked crying as the evening carried on. Challenges were set and on the whole were achieved. The competitive nature of the children drove them on and with plenty developing a certain amount of spin on their deliveries which hopefully will be developed when bowling the cricket ball in the summer. Googlies, flippers and the occasional orthodox spinner enabled strikes to happen and with the rewards of Mars bars, the intensity multiplied.

Sunday arose with bright skies and the offering of lovely cakes from the kitchens were taken to a baptism for the church service at Thorpe Morieux. It was lovely to be part of this occasion and a
big thank you to Ella and Thomas who read the psalms beautifully whilst Mr Roberts bashed out Happy Birthday on the organ along with some more traditional numbers (hymns). On our return, the minibus was packed up and off we went to Ampton for the Dunston Harriers’ Point to Point. Wonderful burgers and hotdogs were demolished for lunch and hot chocolate was consumed
with great delight in the blustery conditions. Some chose good horses and those lucky enough to win earned themselves Starbursts.

Returning to school and then time to relax before a lovely roast dinner and an evening film was a good way to end the weekend. Thank you to all the boarders and staff for a lovely weekend and we look forward to celebrating Burns Night and Chinese New Year next weekend.

Sewage Soup

The Science department were incredibly fortunate to be able to welcome Richard Park from Anglia Water into school. Richard came to provide sessions on ‘Sewer wise-Making Sewage Soup’ to students in Years 4-6. The aim of the sessions was to introduce our students to the importance of looking after the sewers that we rely on, linking science to the maintaining of a clean water environment and of course making our very own sewage soup!

The excitement was off the scale and students were beyond eager to begin putting together their ingredients to make a dirty, smelly concoction which included; baby wipes, cotton buds, teabags, fat, wee and of course, poo. It was these latter two which caused the most hilarity. Whether it was making use of the provided Wee chart to check how hydrated you were throughout the day or the making of poo cakes which could then be sold onto farmers to fertilize their fields. This cyclic process both amazed and revolted in equal measures, to think that some of the food we eat is grown using material that has already passed through our bodies!

Richard then astounded us with tales of items found in sewage treatment plants across the Anglia Water area. Whether it was false teeth (many a pair), a bowling ball, false legs or a puppy  (fortunately alive) the disbelief, shock and sometimes awe on the students’ faces was priceless! The session also highlighted the importance of the part we all have to play in maintaining both our sewer systems and the wider environment. The take home message is that we most definitely do have the power to affect change as individuals, whether it is changing our purchasing habits (yes, the simple switch of plastic to paper based cotton buds has forced manufacturers to re-evaluate policy) or becoming involved in community projects like the Great British Beach Clean. We all
have a part to play and can indeed be the catalyst for transformation.

Suffolk Under 8 Tennis Player of the Year

Many congratulations to Orlando who was justly named Suffolk 8 & Under Player of the Year at the prestigious Elena Baltacha Foundation awards in December. This is in addition to winning a large LTA County tournament in Norwich shortly before Christmas and representing Suffolk against Cambridgeshire last weekend. A super month of tennis and very well deserved!

Claus’ Christmas Rock Around & Christmas Splendour

A busy open boarding weekend saw a mass of children crowd round the microphones and dance the night away. Having eaten splendid party food and having chomped through personalised gingerbread biscuits created by the kitchen staff, the children gathered in a room filled with balloons and the DJ pumped up the volume as the party goers rocked. Classic tunes such as ‘Galway Girl’ and ‘We Are The Champions’ were performed with great gusto as the roof rocked along with some ACDC sung, with horror, by members of staff who were cajoled into the limelight. The children enjoyed the evening and the Year 8’s danced on until the last number of the night saw them amass in a group dancing serenely before bouncing up and down like zombies. This continued for several minutes before they arrived in their dorms and slept soundly.

Sunday morning rose as did the boarders in their pyjamas for breakfast and having filled themselves with sausages, eggs, beans, mushrooms and many more such things, they travelled to church at Brettenham. A beautiful reading by Anthony and good singing of hymns was followed by tea, coffee and cakes before returning to school. After lunch the children went Christmas shopping in Bury which finished off with a trip to the hot chocolate house which the children loved. As the weekend drew to a close the boarders rested in front of a film in preparation for the festive weeks ahead. Since the weekend the decorating has been gathering pace and some grottos are beginning to look a lot like Christmas has descended and the boys and girls will need to remember that the judging will take place next week and winners will be revealed.

We have also celebrated with those individual boarders who have become more independent within the boarding house and have been kind and helpful to staff and friends alike. We travelled to Bildeston for a special breakfast treat with six star boarders gathered from all three boarding houses. Pancakes, syrup and wonderful waffles were indulged in by Nico, Evalina, William R, William C, Tiara and George R as an end of term treat for their efforts.


It has been an enjoyable and fun term within the boarding houses and on behalf of the boarding house staff we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Year 5 & 6 Christmas Plays

Year 5 took to the stage with their version of ‘Christmas Carol’. A succession of children played the part of miserly Scrooge, each conveying his personal struggles with great maturity. The spooky ghosts of Christmas past, present and future haunted Scrooge with their dark messages of what has been, what is and what will be. Bob Cratchett, Tiny Tim and his family offered a stark contrast with their unstoppable positivity and the carol singers brightened the stage with their jolly singing.

Year 6 entertained the audience with a winter mystery play about an escaped murderer, keeping the audience guessing as to who the murderer could possibly be. This was followed by a modern
take on the nativity play set in the Yuletide television news studio.

The evening concluded with the whole cast performing the classic ‘Twas the night before Christmas.

A brilliant evening of theatre for the audience. Very well done, to all of the Year 5 and 6 children for delivering their lines with confidence and for having great presence on stage.

Christmas Shoeboxes

Thank you so much to everyone who brought in a shoebox. We collected a total of 57, a school record!

The boxes have been delivered to the depot and will soon be on their long journey to Eastern Europe to bring happiness to the children who receive them.