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Fun times in Ancient Greece for Y3

Ancient Greece was the destination for our Y3 boys on Wednesday 16 June. Dressed to play their part as Greek boys or warriors, the boys joined Penelaus from Sparta aka Ian Weston (Portals to the Past) on a fantastic and funny whistle-stop tour of this classic ancient civilisation.

In the morning, the boys played Stomachion (reputed to have been created by Archimedes of Greece) and Pettia (a Greek strategy game). They researched numerous areas of Greek civilisation, including religion and Greek philosophers, to expand their understanding of this exciting time and place in history. 

In the afternoon, it was Greek arms and armour, war, blood and gore and the Olympics – including fun team events of skill for the boys who competed against each other, representing the ancient cities of Sparta and Athens.  

Did you know? 

The Olympics not only included fantastic sporting events such as running, javelin throwing, the Greek equivalent to Formula 1: chariot racing, but it also offered competitors the chance to become Olympic medallists in poetry. How very forward-thinking!

I liked it when Ian told us the story about how the Athenian Army did their battle stance. It was funny because they stood in a silly way.

Quba Thomas

I learned that the Greeks had a special ‘V’ formation in battle with the stronger soldiers on either side.

Gabe Stone

I liked solving the quiz questions and searching for the answers and we used our brains to find the information boards with the answers.

Oscar Goodeve

I liked it when we did the mini Olympics and threw the foam rockets

Jack Efe Taylor

 

Y8 Bushcraft Adventures

Our Y8 boys were delighted to be heading off into the wild last week following a year with very few trips due to the pandemic.

One of the most highly-anticipated trips, the Bushcraft residential always proves a memorable experience for both boys and staff. This year, perhaps more poignantly than ever before, it offered the boys the chance to make memories with their friends, enjoy and relax in the natural camaraderie they share and, quite simply, have fun together.

Their home for the camp was the great outdoors, and during their days of living in the forest and sleeping under the stars, the boys enjoyed connecting with nature, working together and learning new skills.

As ever, they enthusiastically covered themselves in camouflage cream and leaves to blend into their environment for camouflage and archery sniper (with foam-tipped arrows) games. They learned how to throw a tomahawk and build dens. They also put their first aid skills (learned the week before) to the test in the forest, went on wilderness walks, made campfires, told stories and sang songs. To say that the trip was action-packed would be an understatement!

The trip was a truly wonderful experience, the memories of which we hope will stay with the boys for many years to come.

Y5 Geographers Hunt for Treasure

Our intrepid Y5 geographers enjoyed a problem-solving afternoon in the sun on Tuesday as they followed some brilliantly designed treasure maps in the hope of discovering an appealing and tasty reward.

In groups, boys from Miss Goodman’s and Mr Loader’s geography classes put their map-making skills to good use to create some highly detailed maps. The classes then challenged each other to follow the trails laid out on the maps. Using their map reading skills, the boys worked together to decipher four-digit grid references, work out directions from compass roses and identify symbols to hunt around the playground for hidden coloured markers.  And, when they were found—and some were hidden extremely well—the boys received their treasure: doughnuts!

“It was wonderful to see the boys putting their geography skills into action, both in creating the maps and following them to their destinations. There was a great friendly rivalry between the two classes, which made the activity all the more fun for everyone.”

Miss Goodman

Brilliant Result in the UKMT Junior Maths Challenge

Boys in Y7 and Y8 are celebrating this week after achieving brilliant results in the UKMT Junior Mathematical Challenge. All boys in Y8 and 40 boys from Y7 entered the national challenge, which comprises a 60-minute, multiple-choice paper that encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought, and fluency in using basic mathematical techniques to solve interesting problems.

Competing against over 270,000 pupils from across the UK, the boys completed 25 multiple-choice questions designed to make them think. While most questions are accessible to all, a number challenge those with more experience. Despite completing the challenge online for the first time, the boys took it all in their stride. 

In Y7, seven boys achieved silver awards and nine boys bronze awards. Tony Zhao was the highest scorer from Y7. 

Silver Awards

Bronze Awards

Tony Zhao

Jack Sivills

Emir Kenrick

Blake Balachandran

Rocco Sarro

Aryan Sohanpal

Rhys Brook

Sam Yeomans

Thomas Mahony

Joshua Lincoln

Mihai Memet

Nirmay Patel

Henry Pask

George Knight

Arafat Rahman

 

Charlie Gandesha

 

 

In Y8, the boys achieved seven gold awards, sixteen silver awards and twenty-one bronze awards – results that place them in the top 6% (gold), 13% (silver) and 21% (bronze) of pupils in the country. 

A special mention must go to Jacob Yau (top scorer in Y8) and Samuel McMurran, who will now sit the further Olympiad Paper – only the top 2,000 pupils in the country are invited. Congratulations also go to Eden Chen, Sammy Inman, Gary Wang, Rayhaan Menolee and Felix Beckmann, who qualified for the Kangaroo Paper – around 10,000 pupils are invited.  

Gold Awards

Silver Awards

Bronze Awards

Jacob Yau

Sam Barnes

Jacob Anderson

Samuel McMurran

Ben Pickerin

Joseph Edwards

Eden Chen

Joseph Lee

Isaac Battersby

Sammy Inman

Fraser Morgan

Theo Cromwell

Gary Wang

Ben Rioch

Mustafa Haroon

Rayhaan Menolee

Izaan Aris

James Pinkney

Felix Beckmann

Joe Basquille

Bertie Sayer

Dylan French

Danny Chapman

 

Josh Mitchell

Toby Wesson

 

Ben Ulvert

Luka Ilic

 

Jonathan Hall

David Shirley

 

Nigel Ng

James Wright

 

Abuturab Turrabi

Charlie Collard

 

Eeshan Agrawal

Mike Halahan

 

Henry Whitfield

Aadhi Arun

 

Henry Wood-Rubio

Benjamin Roberts

 

Harry Townsend

 

 

Tommy Hughes

 

 

Henry Gillham

 

 

Misha Savitski

 

 

Joell Creek

 

 

 

Well done to all boys who entered. 

Y8 Post-Exam Programme

With internal exams over, our Y8 boys are enjoying an exciting and enriching post-exam programme in their final weeks in the Prep School. In this first week alone, boys have experienced numerous activities, workshops and talks, all designed to ensure that they are well prepared for the Upper School and the next stage of their education.

Boys participated in workshops on ‘The Art of Storytelling’ and ‘Leadership and Rhetoric’ from our Entrepreneur in Residence, Zubair Jununir, and Old Bedfordian and RSC practitioner, Ollie Lyons, respectively.  The boys first investigated and discussed the key ideas behind storytelling: status, facts and feelings, voice and audience with Zubair Jununir, before putting their storytelling skills into action to raise awareness of environmental issues and prompt action by making an emotional connection with their audience. In the second workshop, boys explored the skills that combine to make a good communicator with Ollie Lyons. The active approach to communication in the workshop focused on techniques developed in the professional acting industry. It encouraged all pupils to consider new forms of expression as a critical life skill.

Boys also added first aid training to the skills learned this week, with hands-on sessions covering unconscious casualties, the recovery position, EpiPens and CPR, and received career inspiration in three fascinating careers talks, hearing from radio, tv and music personality DJ Spoony, Consultant Doctor Sarah Maling and Consultant Psychologist Karen Gray.  Thank you to them all for sharing their expertise and advice.

Always a highlight of the post-exam programme each year is ‘Come Dine with Me’, and this year the boys were challenged to organise an evening meal, complete with entertainment, for their classmates and teachers. The boys oversee every element, from the invitations to the menus to laying and decorating the tables to cooking and serving the food and providing the entertainment. This week saw 8B and 8D play host, entertaining their guests with everything from DJ sets to standup comedy to even a roving pianist! As ever, it proved a wonderful learning experience for the boys who picked up many new skills from our chefs and catering team, including napkin folding, and put their teamwork and communications skills to the test – a test that they passed very successfully.  We look forward to more evenings in the coming weeks.

“The feedback back from teachers and visiting workshop leaders has been brimming with praise. The boys have approached their activities with great enthusiasm and maturity, and they have impressed all with their eloquence, insight, thoughtfulness and camaradrie. I could not be more proud of these young men.”

Ian Silk, Headmaster

Plus, there is plenty more for the boys to look forward to with bushcraft activities, debates, more talks and workshops, ‘Come Dine with Me’ evenings and trips to enjoy in the coming weeks.  It promises to be a fantastic finale to the boys’ days at Bedford Prep.

ISGA Wellington College Junior Salver

Y8 boys William Mowe and Harry Townsend enjoyed a superb day of golf at the Independent Schools Golf Association (ISGA) Junior Salver at Wellington College on Sunday 6 June. The boys, who were selected to represent Bedford Prep School, finished in 14th place in the individual competition and first place in the Stableford competition, respectively.

Match report by Harry Townsend (Y8)

Having spent the weekend preparing for the competition, we headed to Berkshire to compete in the Stableford and individual tournaments. The weather was on our side, and we both went out in a ‘fourball’. 

We were tasked with playing two rounds of nine holes, with an overall par of 72 to aim for. William set off well, achieving two birdies and finished on a fantastic score of gross 84 (net 74), putting him in 14th place (off gross) in the individual competition. I started with a bogey and had an unlucky shot on the 5th hole, but later found my stride and scored well on the back nine. I finished with a gross 97 (net 61), which was enough to put me in first place in the Stableford category. 

It was a fantastic experience, and I can’t wait for the next competition on 17 June at Drayton Park. 

Head Master’s Assembly: Social Media

I get some strange looks at home from my non-sports loving family when I’m asked occasionally what the best day of my life has been so far. Admittedly, it is a bit provocative to say there’s nothing better than playing cricket at Lord’s; and to be honest getting married and the birth of your children are pretty amazing days (and if I’m not teasing, then it is pretty obvious which wins of course!). However, for anybody who loves cricket, playing at Lord’s will always be there or thereabouts, and I, for one, will never forget the experience. It’s not just the batting, bowling or fielding which make it special, but also all the little experiences around the cricket itself: of seeing the dressing rooms for the first time, with their honours boards from the test matches, of a stroll across the ground to the nursery ground beforehand to warm up; of the walk through the long room between portraits of the best players that have played the game; of the bell tinkling for the start of play; of the gateman allowing you out onto the field; of the dressing room attendant at the end of the first days’ play asking if there is any dirty kit that he can wash overnight ready for the start of day two; of just having a dressing room attendant! With only a few hundred school kids and a handful of friends and relatives watching the Varsity Match, it was hardly the most prestigious event in the Lord’s calendar; but for me, it was three of the most glorious days I can remember.

Last week, a New Zealander called Devon Conway made his test match debut against England. As if playing your first test match was not enough, it must have been amazing for him to have his debut scheduled at Lord’s, and to cap it all; he didn’t just score a century, he scored a double century! These are moments that you take with you every day through life and all the way to your grave and well done to him. At the other end of the pitch, bowling at him for most of that innings, was a 27-year-old man called Ollie Robinson, also making his test match debut at Lords after 10 years as a professional cricketer. What an amazing moment for him, a man who may have thought he would never have the chance, and to grab a couple of wickets on his first day in test cricket would have sent him from the field with a skip in his legs. Imagine his utter dejection, therefore when he got back to the pavilion at the end of one of the best days of his life to find out that the press had got hold of a number of tweets he had made almost a decade ago as an 18-year-old and were splashing them all over the news pages. The tweets were extremely offensive, undeniably racist and sexist, and who knows what possessed him to write these things all those years ago. Instead of a celebratory beer with his teammates, therefore, at the close of play Ollie Robinson was taken out to face the press and release a statement that said this: “On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets that I posted over eight years ago, which have today become public… I deeply regret my actions, and I am ashamed of making such remarks. I was thoughtless and irresponsible, and regardless of my state of mind at the time, my actions were inexcusable. Since that period, I have matured as a person and fully regret the tweets. Today should be about my efforts on the field and the pride of making my Test debut for England, but my thoughtless behaviour in the past has tarnished this. Over the past few years, I have worked hard to turn my life around. I have considerably matured as an adult… I would like to unreservedly apologise to anyone I have offended… I don’t want something that happened eight years ago to diminish the efforts of my teammates and the ECB as they continue to build meaningful action with their comprehensive initiatives and efforts (to eradicate racism and sexism from the game), which I fully endorse and support… I am sorry, and I have certainly learned my lesson today.”

Well, I think that what Ollie Robinson said was the best that he could have done, probably, given the circumstances. However, it is pretty unlikely that people will ever be able to look at him in the same way again.

You can decide for yourself whether or not you think it is fair for a 27-year-old to be judged on something he wrote when he was 18. However, the fact is that he will be by some people. The strange thing about sexist, racist or any other offensive remarks these days is that there is almost always evidence of them having been said. Even on sites where comments disappear pretty quickly, there is usually an evidence trail. The vast majority of you boys in the school are extremely good at being polite online, as indeed you are in person. Moreover, you often call out any offensive behaviour online and stand up for those who have been offended. Well done to you. However, you would not believe some of the things that my senior colleagues and I see written by a small minority of you, things which, like for Ollie Robinson, you will wish later you had not made. The message that I am absolutely sure England’s new fast bowler would want to tell you all is “don’t do an Ollie Robinson”.

You all know the difference between right and wrong; whether it is in person or online, it is the same thing.

Be generous; be kind; don’t think to show off or try to be bigger than anybody else, and you won’t go far wrong. If you would not like your parents to see what you are writing, then don’t write it. And if you’re sitting there and thinking I wish I hadn’t written that, then learn from it and don’t do it again. There is nothing worse than regret, as I’m sure Ollie Robinson found out last week.

A Foray into Forensic Entomology

Our Prep boys journeyed into the fascinating world of Forensic Entomology on Monday 24 May, thanks to Lower Sixth Former Ethan Ofosu.

During a brilliant lunchtime Zoom presentation for the boys, Ethan explained how the study of insects is used in criminal investigations—telling the story of forensic entomology from its early uses back in 1247 to modern-day cases like the famous Lobato case.  

Ethan explained how forensic entomologists use the succession of species and individual species life cycles to help identify a time of death. Not to mention the many external factors that can affect insects on bodies, such as time of day (flies, like us, are diurnal and like to sleep at night!), aeration and temperature/season. The boys also discovered what attracts flies to a body in the first place and how bugs can be used to determine the location of death.

Speaking after the presentation, Ethan told us, “I really enjoyed sharing my knowledge of this field of forensics. It was a wonderful opportunity to, hopefully, inspire at least one of the boys to enter the world of forensics or maybe even become more interested in science as a whole because science is amazing and needs to be shared. When I was first getting interested in forensics, I would’ve really appreciated a talk by someone, so I am proud that I was able to do this.”

Ethan hopes to go into the field of forensics when he finishes school, possibly forensic toxicology, as he says, “It’s just too interesting not to.”

Thank you, that was amazing!”

“Really interesting.”

Prep Boys

Terrific Team Maths

After completing their internal exams, our Y8 boys were ready for some fun maths team challenges.

Stepping out of their usual classrooms and into the sun, the Y8 boys collaborated on a whole range of team challenges outdoors, enjoying higher-level problem solving, trying out different strategies and adapting their methods to attack problems from different angles.

The boys enjoyed many different activities throughout the week, from cross number challenges to a relay event. They needed to harness their Future Skills to think outside the box and alter their methods to find the solution and get it right—which was not always possible the first time. Throughout the week, the boys displayed excellent collaboration and resilience when facing more challenging maths.

One Y8 boy, speaking about the relay activity, in which you were not able to talk to half your teammates as you tried to solve the problems, told us, “It was really exciting, like an escape room. You were working as a team, but you didn’t know how the other half of your team were doing as we weren’t allowed to talk to them.” 

After half term, boys in Years 5, 6 and 7 can look forward to similar team maths activities to challenge their maths skills, teamwork and resilience – all in a fun and exciting way.