King Edward’s is pleased to welcome back Lorraine Lee tomorrow evening to give the second of this term’s presentations entitled ‘Understanding adolescent girls’. With three children herself and a background in Child Psychology, Positive Parenting Training and Child Development, Lorraine is passionate about informing, equipping and supporting everyone who has a role in the lives of children and young people. Training offers dynamic and inspirational training for parents, teachers, practitioners, children and young people from early years right through to college. The event is open to all current parents and will be held in the Hospitality Suite at 7.00pm.
During the war years, pupils from King Edward's were evacuated to Poole Grammar School to continue their education. On Sunday a group of these former pupils met for their 19th reunion lunch enjoying their time together to reminisce about their school days.
KES Third and Fourth Year French students welcomed a group of 40 pupils from Sherborne House this week and helped them to practise their spoken French. After a quick introduction to the theme of shopping, pupils had a go at buying the correct food for an imaginary picnic. They had to ask for the required item and work out the correct amount that they had to pay. Everyone had a good time and French was spoken by all!
The focus for the recent Cactus Club trip to RHS Wisley was cacti and plant adaptations. With the help of Kyle McHale, the Education Officer, and Greg Ovendon, the glasshouse expert, the group investigated arid plant adaptations, studied the superb section of varying ferns in the temperate zone and headed off to the alpine houses to develop their understanding of high altitude plants from hot and dry regions along with cold regions from around the world; a fascinating day for the fourteen strong group.
At Easter, 43 pupils and 5 staff went to Rome and the Bay of Naples. In Rome there were trips to see the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Roman forum whilst in Naples the group went to the top of Mount Vesuvius and saw the amazing sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum. A good time was had by all, helped in no small part by a large amount of high quality pizza and ice-cream.
Congratulations to Joshua Lam who won this year's KES School Chess Championship. He has also progressed to the next round of the national competition. We wish him the best of luck.
The first of this year's Second Year camps to Lovaton, Dartmoor took place at the weekend. Students spent the weekend camping or staying in the School's Rural Study Centre, whilst taking part in climbing and team building exercises, constructing and racing rafts on the river and learning how to cook on trangias. Despite the heavy rain at times their spirits remained undampened.
On Saturday 1st April thirty-four students and six staff departed for the annual school ski trip. The weather, at the start of the week, was mixed but during the last two days the group skied in glorious sunshine. The conditions at the top of the mountain were excellent but lower down the slopes the snow became very slushy in the afternoon. The level of instruction was excellent and the students remained focused in their lessons thus making very good progress. At the end of the week Ned Clarke received the highest ski award amongst the party; he was also the only member of the party to land a 360 while out with the instructor. The highlight of the evening entertainment was a visit to the bowling alley, closely followed by the game of Jenga played between Stephanie Judd and Emily Price against Mr Brown and Mr Lewis!
Eighteen geography students travelled to Iceland over the Easter holidays to discover the incredible geology and geography on offer in this amazing country. Iceland is well known for its changing weather and the group certainly experienced this – snow, torrential rain and sunshine! Bathing in the Blue Lagoon was most definitely a highlight for the students and they used the silica mud on the bottom of the lagoon to cleanse their skin. The geographers visited numerous waterfalls, some with water so pure that the students were able to drink directly from them, and Strokkur geysir mesmerised everyone as it sprayed boiling hot water up to 35 metres into the air every 5 minutes. Iceland has a huge amount to offer and everyone was extremely fortunate to be able to experience so many of its geological wonders.
Over the Easter holidays, a group of five girls travelled to Pribram, near Prague in the Czech Republic, to take part in the second leg of the Prague Exchange. Their buddies had already been hosted by KES families in September. Whilst there, the girls visited the capital and saw all the highlights including Prague Castle and the Astronomical Clock. Easter was a wonderful time to visit as there were Easter crafts and markets aplenty. The group also helped with running a sports event for a local school for children with special needs.
On the Friday 31st March, seventeen Third and Fourth year students travelled to Córdoba, Spain, to spend five days of glorious sunshine experiencing Spanish life first hand. The students stayed with host families and attended three hours of Spanish lessons every morning. The afternoons were spent sightseeing, sampling tapas, churros and ice cream and dancing Flamenco. On the Sunday they enjoyed a visit to the beautiful city of Sevilla. Everyone had a fabulous time and greatly improved their Spanish skills.
The Creative Arts trip to New York City took place in the first week of the Easter holiday. In five days, of seemingly non-stop activity, students soaked up the cultural richness and diversity of this most iconic city. Bounding from one end of Manhattan to the other, they took in everything from opera at the MET to late-night diners off Times Square, picnics in Central Park to 'Miss Saigon' on Broadway, gems of twentieth-century art at MoMA to midnight city views from the Empire State building. Between countless other highlights, including a very special violin recital at Carnegie Hall, a dance class at the Broadway Dance Studio and an evening at a Jazz club, students used their free time to explore the streets and cafes in midtown Manhattan and immerse themselves in the magnificence and craziness of the city that never sleeps.
Twenty-six Third and Fourth year students enjoyed a fabulous week taking in the sights and culture of Morocco during the Easter holidays. They visited several UNESCO world heritages sites, including the fishing port of Essaouira and the ancient village of Aït Benadhou, the setting for the film, Gladiator. As well as consuming copious amounts of tagine, students also drunk local Berber tea and learnt about Moroccan history and religion. The main highlight for many was the chance to travel into the Sahara Desert by camel and the trip concluded with a visit to Marrakesh.
A group of Upper and Lower Sixth students travelled to lively bustling Montpellier in the South of France during the Easter Holidays. They spent the mornings perfecting their French in relaxed and interesting lessons led by native speakers and the afternoons discovering the local area and culture. Trips to Avignon and the Pont du Gard, sessions of pétanque, the tasting and preparation of local specialities, trips to the beach and evenings at local restaurants all helped to make the trip thoroughly enjoyable. C’était magnifique!
Congratulations to all those involved in yesterday's sponsored triathlonathon raising money for this year's Summer Camp. A substantial amount was raised from the event and 562 kilometres were covered during the day.
There were twenty-five entries in this year’s annual cactus competition. Mrs Wood and President of The Cactus Club, James Mitchell, administered proceedings with style and the winners this year were Ankit Nambiar (Solo category), Lucy Giles (Group category), Zak Crane-Whatmore (Succulent category), James Mitchell (Seed category), Tilly Abraham (Cactometer – new category for 2017) and Mrs Mitchell (Lifetime Achievement). An award ceremony is planned for May 2nd.
A further set of Duke of Edinburgh awards where given out in this morning's assembly. The following students have achieved their awards:
Thomas Mitchell, Abdullah Quraishe and Harmeena Sekhon.
Silver: Charlotte Bassett, Madeleine Collins, Aasta Kendall, Blake Miller, Katrina Penn-Newman, Barnaby Taylor and Eleanor Todd.
On Wednesday 22nd March, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Company came to School to deliver an exciting and dynamic workshop based on their brand new, critically acclaimed ballet ‘The Red Shoes’. A number of Lower School dancers took part with the opportunity to learn some repertoire from the show and work on some themes of storytelling through tableaux and movement. The dancers were given a fantastic insight into Matthew Bourne’s choreographic style and in the evening, dancers from across all years were lucky enough to visit The Mayflower Theatre to see the company in action performing ‘The Red Shoes’.
Scamp Club's literary quest this year took them to Lovaton on Dartmoor. 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' and Malcolm Saville’s classic, 'Saucers over the Moor' served as 'maps' which led them to their three key locations: Nun’s Cross Farm, the home of the villain of the piece, Grimspound where Sherlock Holmes made his base and Whiteworks where the source of the saucers over the moor was rumoured to be.
Members of the Charities Commission have been selling red-nosed themed merchandise in the run up to Comic Relief and today organised break and lunchtime events in the Crush Hall. Pupils were able to buy red noses, wrist bands and attempt to ‘pin the nose’ on Ed Sheeran! Well done to everyone involved in raising money for this very worthwhile cause.
On 22nd March, fourteen Sixth Formers went to WE Day in Wembley Arena. WE is a movement that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world, inspiring millions of passionate young people, women and men to work together to shift the world from “me” to “we.” At the WE Day celebration at Wembley the KES students listened to presentations from charity workers and inspirational speakers such as Kate Winslet and Paula Abdul. Jessie J, Conor Maynard and The Vamps also performed.
Friday was non-uniform day at KES with members of the Green Team collecting empty plastic bottles and raising funds for Water Aid. In total over £1000 was raised as students were encouraged to wear blue clothes in support of the appeal.
Congratulations to the following students who have achieved their Duke of Edinburgh awards.
On Thursday lunchtime the Charities team held a KES version of 'Britain's got talent'. Individuals, groups, musicians, comedians and dancers entertained the audience in their bid to be voted the winner. The event raised over £200 and 1st place went to Phoebe Rogers with a dance routine, 2nd place to a group of Fifth Years with an Abba tribute and 3rd place to Alec Damley-Jones for his stand-up comedy act. Well done to Harry Ruprecht of the Upper Sixth who organised the event and to all those who took part.
In the half-term break, a group of Fourth and Third Years travelled to Belgium to the European Space Centre. During their visit, the students took part in many exciting activities including astronaut training simulators allowing them to moonwalk. A simulated space shuttle mission was also amazingly realistic with a life-sized version of the space shuttle that involved orbiting, satellite launch, docking with the Space Station, re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere and finally landing. The group also enjoyed taking part in space experiments and rocket building workshops. A torch lit visit to nearby Bouillon Castle and an opportunity to make some Belgium chocolates provided the students with some experience of the local culture too.
During the half term, a group of eighteen students and three staff were blessed with glorious weather on the annual trip to Salamanca. They enjoyed sitting around Plaza Mayor sipping coffee and walking around Madrid in the sunshine but were also very busy with four hours of daily language lessons and afternoon and evening activities. They learned to cook Paella and Spanish tortilla; visited the theatre, the cinema, the Bernabeu Stadium and the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid, and sampled a lot of local food; all the time practising their Spanish in preparation for the summer examinations.
The School Hall was transformed into a glittering venue for the South African Dinner Dance on Saturday evening. The black tie event was a huge success and the Sixth Form team did a fantastic job organising it. Along with ticket sales and the auction, over £4500 was raised for the charity and the forthcoming trip to Goedgedacht due to take place this summer.
Tuesday 7th February saw the school community get involved in Safer Internet Day. The First Year Digital Leaders presented assembly in the morning and throughout the day students were given the opportunity to make a pledges to make the internet a safer place. These were displayed in the Crush Hall.
Congratulations to the following students who have achieved their Duke of Edinburgh awards.
Silver: Abigail Sheppard, Felix de Merode and Isobel Searles.
Bronze: Samuel Cooper, Raul Patel, Ella Wright and Nathan Hastings.
This week the School has welcomed exchange students from Charlotte Country Day School in North Carolina for the home leg of the programme. The American students have been staying with their exchange partners and have attended lessons at KES as well as braving the British weather to visit sites such as Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, Oxford and London with their hosts.
On Tuesday 31st January, the 2017 Battle of the Bands competition took place in front of an enthusiastic audience who filled the School Hall. The event takes place annually and is one of the principal fund-raising events for the School's Summer Camp trip for Southampton's young carers. This year's event raised nearly £1500.
Thirty-seven Fifth Year economists visited the Mini assembly factory at Cowley, Oxford for a fascinating insight into global manufacturing. The main purpose of the visit was to see the Mini assembly plant. Students were guided through the ‘body in white’ plant, where panels manufactured in a Mini plant in Swindon, are welded together to form the main body of the car. Students had the opportunity to ask questions as well as watch the robots spot welding at close quarters. In the ‘assembly plant’ they witnessed a more labour-intensive operation and the visit enabled them to see the specific tasks performed by a combination of human endeavour and automation.
On Wednesday 11th January, six pupils from the first and second year attended the Cisco regional 'Internet of Things' final held at Winchester science Park. Their pitch and presentation, along with supporting work, which they had completed over the last couple of months, earned them third place regionally. This is a commendable achievement and shows the commitment above and beyond normal school expectations. Well done to the team.
Well done to Niamh Phelan who recently co-organised a charity netball tournament in aid of Mind in which several KES students took part. The event was organised in memory of Marion Munns who sadly died after falling onto the M27 carriageway in 2015. Over £1000 is expected to have been raised from the tournament and will be donated to the mental health charity.
Photos of the event can be viewed on the Daily Echo website by clicking here.
Shortly before the Christmas break KES Sixth Form kayakers and sailors continued their association with the Hamble Lifeboat by paying their brand new boat house a visit. Members of the Sixth Form enjoyed a talk about the history of the volunteer lifeboat service that operates in the Solent area, before taking a closer look at their life saving vessels and taking part in some practical rope work led by members of the crew. The highlight for many of the students was trying out some of the high tech kits used to save lives that included a set of thermal imaging goggles. Our thanks to the Hamble lifeboat crew for giving up their time and for inviting us to their new boathouse.
On the first weekend in December, thirty-five First and Second years along with six members of staff spent an enjoyable day at the Christmas Market in Aachen. A walk around the old town, the Rathaus and the market itself were all topped off with a visit to the Lindt Factory Outlet shop.
Last Friday, members of the Byron Society congregated in the Hospitality Suite to celebrate their annual Winter Ball. Much fun and games were enjoyed by all. Among the delights on offer: pop up poetry readings, Regency dancing, Regency parlour games, a terrine of soup and an assortment of puddings.
The dark and damp of a December evening were dispelled by the warmth and joy at the School's annual Carol Service in Romsey Abbey. With a full orchestra to accompany the exuberant singing of traditional congregational carols, a festive time was had by all. The Abbey look resplendent, the staging overflowing with choirs of students, staff and parents, the First Year choir and the Chamber Choir. Biblical readings poems and prayers gave us cause to reflect afresh on the Christmas message and a particular musical highlight was the UK premiere of Avro Pärt’s Christmas Lullaby, featuring two harps and violins with the Senior Choir. Candles held aloft for O Come all ye Faithful lit the way into the night, with a quick stop for some mince pies and mulled wine; no figgy pudding despite the choirs insistent demands in We wish you a merry Christmas that they wouldn’t go until they got some!
KES Design and Technology students were lucky enough to hear from best-selling pop up illustrator and author Jennie Maizels last week. The Graphics students got to see the process behind the design and manufacture of pop up books that have been sold worldwide. They also got a sneak preview of Jennie's new book will will be released in 2017.
Congratulations to the KES team comprising of Cameron Barr, Will Barker, Ned Clarke, George Fennell, Oliver Showell, Henry Tudor, Alfie Wright and Finn McCullagh who took part in the annual Uniformed Services competition last Thursday against eight other schools and finished in 1st place for the fourth year running. The team were excellent ambassadors for the School and captain Finn McCullagh capped the day by coming 1st in the individual bleep test out of eighty competitors. Well done team KES!
Congratulations to the following students who have achieved their Duke of Edinburgh awards.
Gold: Ella Norman.
Silver: Harry Capewell, Luka Peart, William Thompson and Henry Waring.
Bronze: Tom McCarthy and Mihir Thakrar.
On Thursday 1st December a team from KES joined pupils from six other schools at the Tech Deck and Education Centre at Land Rover BAR’s base in Portsmouth, the British team challenging for the 35th America’s Cup.
The event was organised by PA and the 1851 Trust (Land Rover BAR’s charity aiming to empower young people in STEM activities) and provided entrants of PA’s Raspberry Pi competition a fun-packed STEM and coding day. Those present started the day with a talk from Edward Hawthorne, one of Land Rover BAR’s design innovators, about his job as a systems engineer and how innovation is at the core of everything Land Rover BAR does. Students were then split into two groups and each group had the opportunity to explore the Tech Deck and Education Centre which has been designed to introduce young people to the technology and innovation behind the design and equipment used by Land Rover BAR. Pupils then took part in a coding lesson facilitated by PA Technology experts.
As part of the wider education of our students, the School was lucky enough to welcome a team from The Magistrates Association on 30th November, to hold a Mock Trial. The parts of magistrates, lawyers and witnesses were all played by Second Year students, with the rest of the Year Group acting as an informal jury. This was a highly entertaining and effective way to teach our students about the rule of law.
On Tuesday 29th November, twenty KES A Level Spanish students travelled to London to see a performance of 'Bodas de Sangre' ('Blood Wedding'). This is a play written by Federico García Lorca, the author studied in the Upper Sixth year, so it was very poignant and useful for the course. The play was performed at the newly-opened Cervantes Theatre, which aims to only produce shows and cultural events linked to the Spanish and Latin American world. A thoroughly enjoyable, albeit late, night was had by all.
On 24th November a team of Upper and Lower Sixth Business students took part in the regional heats of the BASE competition, organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. The six students had to assimilate a vast amount of information about a fictional business scenario, contend with news and data updates that changed the picture, and present their recommendations and findings to an audience of 120 professional accountants, students and teachers. The KES team equipped themselves brilliantly with a fluent and clear presentation that included original ideas as well as good application of the Business theory they have learned in lessons. The team were disappointed not to be placed in the top 2 of the 20 teams on the day, but they must have been very close, and the event was an excellent experience and a good primer for the assessment centre experience that so many employers will require them to go through.
On Friday the School held a pyjama-themed non-uniform day in support of Children in Need. There were some extraordinary outfits on display, not least the musical elf from the Head of School. The event produced over £1330 for the Children in Need fundraising effort with still more money to come in through contributions, the sale of Pudsey bears and cakes.
Congratulations to the following students who have been achieved their Duke of Edinburgh awards
Bronze: Tom Croft-Baker, Alla Garside, James Lander, Oliver Miles, Samuel Rachman, Henry Tsang, Charles Waring and Abigail Woodcock.
Silver: Jordan Abbott, Bruce Carpenter and Jessica Holmes.
Twelve First Year pupils completed their bikeability course over two Sundays in November. The invaluable course taught pupils how to ride their bikes safely, be safe and be seen when cycling.
The Third Year Charlotte Exchange visited North Carolina just before the Presidential election; a very exciting time to be there! The group spent just under two weeks exploring the area and our partnership school – Charlotte Country Day. A beautiful time of year to visit, with the colour change of the leaves as well as 25 degrees sunshine, allowed the students to spend a weekend in the mountains in Virginia alongside the usual day trips. These included a trip to NASCAR museum, the art displays of the Bechtler and Mint Museum, the New South exhibit and a scavenger hunt in uptown Charlotte. The students also dressed up for Halloween in school, watched a spelling bee and attended the first win of the Carolina Panthers’ football season!
Congratulations to recent leavers Elliot D'Souza, Eleanor Gilbert, Seonaid Carson, Juliet Fox and James Kingshott who completed their DofE Gold Awards with King Edward's and were presented with their certificates at St James's Palace on Wednesday 9th November 2016.
Congratulations to the following students who have achieved their Duke of Edinburgh awards
Bronze: Jane Bentham, Alice Booth, Matthew Diamond, James Diaper, Robert Dye, Jessica Lu, Robert McFarlane, Adrian Nicolescu, Emily Wall, Eilidh Williams, Ben Carter, Omar Al-Gholmy, Isobel Browning, Mia Kanani, James Harden, James Young and Jess Mills.
Silver: Rishabh Chugh, Tom Duff and Isabelle Woods.
Former KES pupil Virginia Stuart-Taylor, who left the school in 2007, visited the Modern Languages Department on 3rd November to give a series of inspirational talks with the title '50 Countries and Counting: How Languages Help me Discover the World' to all the Fourth and Fifth Year linguists. Virginia also addressed the Sixth Form linguists in a lunchtime 'Polyglots' talk, providing many helpful and practical tips about studying languages at university and their use for employment purposes.
The annual Digital Leaders' conference was held at Stroud School this week and proved, yet again, to be a huge success. 120 children from nine different schools attended the event and took part in an inspiring range of ICT and computing activities. This included everything from Google Expeditions, drone flying, Now Press Play, Lego drag racing, dynamite rocks, and binary jewellery! Our thanks to Stroud School for hosting the conference.
Well done to Miss Enfield and the Charities Commission team who organised the Link to Hope Christmas shoe box appeal this year. Just before half term 176 boxes were delivered to Above bar Church and will now be distributed amongst the poorest families in Eastern Europe in Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine.
During the half-term break twelve KES students underwent expedition training at Lovaton, on Dartmoor, in preparation for the trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua planned for 2017. The group used the short break to hone their timekeeping and leadership skills, recognise each individual team member's strengths and weaknesses and generally practise the skills need for completing an expedition.
Congratulations to the following students who have achieved their Duke of Edinburgh awards.
Silver: Rishi Ganesh, Emily Morgan, Katie Mote and Georgia Stonadge.
At the weekend, the Greenpower team competed in and finished 24th at the International Kit Car finals held at Rockingham. This is a real achievement at this level, and particular recognition should go to Fifth Year pupil, Alex Everest, who not only designed and built an electronic speed controller for the car (that worked perfectly) but who also managed the team.
The First Year disco held on Friday 14th October was attended by two thirds of First Year pupils and raised over £400 for Summer Camp. The jungle theme meant that a whole host of animal inspired outfits made an appearance. Thank you to all those staff and members of the Sixth Form who helped to make it such a success.
The DAC development project continues to make good progress. Demolition work of the roof and façade has been completed and an internal waterproof wall erected to protect the current building. The site is being prepared for commencement of the groundworks package and engineers have visited, following demolition of the roof and façade, to check existing steel positions before fabrication commences of the new steel frame. Work has now commenced on the internal sub structure blockwork of the construction.
This week Tom Evans, and former pupil Simon Wickes, from cyber security firm, SCS, gave a talk to pupils on the vast range of roles and careers within the field of cyber security. It was highly informative and current presentation that made clear the need for skilled people in this industry. Our thanks to both visitors for giving up their time to come in to school.
On Saturday, the first ever KES fly fishing trip set off to Woodington Trout fishery in Romsey. Four students and Mr Blow tacked up for four hours of fly fishing hoping to bring home a brace of trout for dinner. Despite everyone's best efforts, the group discovered why they call it ‘fishing’ rather than ‘catching’ although a complete blank was saved when a tiny Perch took the fly. Everyone still had a great morning out practising their skills in this tricky form of fishing and the lack of action means everyone is even more determined for the next outing.
On Tuesday Second Year pupils visited the Living Rainforest in Newbury for their Geography fieldtrip. They all had guided tours and talks about 'Adaptations in the Rainforest' and 'Sustainability of the Rainforest' and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the plants and animals of the rainforest ecosystem. They were fascinated to hear from the tour guides about how they can act more responsibly to ensure the future of the world’s rainforests.
The new Third Years, the Sixth Form Prepositors for the Third Year, Mrs Rugge-Price and Mrs Burrows spent the morning at Woodmill Activity Centre in early September involved in a number of team building exercises, with the aim of getting to know each other and build some friendships. We were fortunate that the weather was stunning, and so when the rafts fell apart most people were not too sorry to have a swim in the lake! There were a lot of giggles during the problem-solving activities, as well as fears being conquered on the climbing wall, and I think we all agreed it had been a fun and useful morning out.
A group of Fourth and Fifth Year geographers enjoyed an evening with Sir Ranulph Fiennes this week in Winchester. Students asked a number of interesting and thought-provoking questions, which allowed them to gain a wonderful insight into his life as the 'world's greatest living explorer'. Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE is the only man alive ever to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface and the oldest Briton to reach the summit of Everest and complete the six-day 251km Marathon des Sables in the Sahara desert.
Last week the School hosted pupils and teachers from a link school in Pribram, Czezch Republic as part of the Fourth Year Prague Exchange. The group enjoyed spending time in school and experiencing the opportunities and facilities on offer here. They also visited Southampton Walls, the SeaCity museum and Winchester Cathedral as well as exploring further afield with their host families. Our girls are very excited about the next part of the trip when they will visit Prague in April.
On Saturday 17th September sixteen KES students travelled to the Acorn shooting range to either improve their skills, or have a first ever go at clay pigeon shooting. Shortly after arrival in the beautiful Hampshire estate, the students were split into three groups and set off with an instructor to see how many clays they could shoot from various different traps designed to test the shooters' reactions from the left, right and even rolling along the floor to simulate running rabbits. With expert tuition on hand, many clays met their end in the two hour session and all students made progress, regardless of their starting skill level. A great time was had by all and Mr Mapstone and Mr Blow even hit a few clays too.
Summer Camp allows members of the Sixth Form the opportunity to provide respite care for young carers in Southampton aged between eight and twelve. This year a change of venue saw the group base themselves at Ferny Crofts in the New Forest for their action-packed week. Activities included a trip to Go Ape at Moors Valley, a day's visit to Monkey World and swimming in the fresh water baths at Lymington. The week was rounded off by the traditional talent show and 'circle time' giving all those who had participated in the week the chance to reflect on their favourite memories.
At the end of July, seventeen students and three staff spent a week in the rainforest of Ecuador followed by a week on the island of Floreana in the Galapagos with Operation Wallacea.
During the first week the group were camping in Sani reserve, 40 thousand hectares of pristine rainforest on the Napo river feeding the majestic Amazon. Students accompanied scientists from the camp on their data collection twice a day. This included using mist nets to catch birds, identifying the species and condition before release, recording mammal tracks of tapir and jaguar before looking at the camera trap images and carrying out surveys. This was the first year that OpWall has worked at this site, so the species identification data will be used to support the conservation status of the reserve and allow more specific projects to run in future years.
This year's watersports trip was as popular as ever with all those who participated trying out a range of water activities and enjoying the warm weather of the south of France.
On the first Sunday of the summer break the senior cricket squad set off on their tour to Sri Lanka. Over the next thirteen days the group experienced the highs and lows of playing cricket on the Indian sub-continent, as well as having the opportunity to appreciate all that Sri Lanka has to offer. They visited three different areas, travelling first to Kandy in the hills of central Sri Lanka, then to Hikkaduwa on the southern shores and finishing in the hustle and bustle of the capital, Colombo.
The team experienced playing in the Welagedera Stadium sitting at the foot of Elephant rock, as well as Dambulla International ground, before continuing along the south west coast where they stopped off at the Pinawala Elephant Orphanage. At Hikkaduwa, a visit to the 'Foundation of Goodness' was a highlight. This is a charity that has been set up to support the local community and provides education, welfare, and medical expertise, as well as running a sports academy. In Colombo the squad played their two final games and finished having won three games and lost three games during their Sri Lanka experience.