Boarding News and Events
The programme of activities continues to provide a breadth of experience outside the Boarding House. This term there have been trips to Wembley and Twickenham for International Football and Rugby matches, as well as visits to Cheltenham, The Race Hut, Ice Skating, Bonfire Night celebrations and two trips to the Cinema.
There have also been a number of Inter-house events; with Wysdom winning the most recent event, the Boat Race, and all four houses are currently separated by only 10 points.
In November boarders represented the school at Burford town’s Remembrance Day parade with Sarah and Iffy placing a wreath on the memorial. Frank also played a part in the event with the Cadet Corp.
The whole school gathered for Charter Day and saw the airing of the video clip ‘A day in the life of a Boarder’ produced by our Head Girl of Boarding, Hannah Wakely. The film, which will shortly be on the boarding section of the website, shows a typical day for a boarding student from wake-up to lights-out.
The House Council continue to meet every two weeks, Boris and Hannah have ensured the collective student voice is always heard. The council have been instrumental in dealing with issues such as Wi-Fi, dining arrangements, trips, activities and proposed social events.
With the second of our Open Evenings now over, excitement is building for the last few weeks of term. We are off to the Bath Christmas Market, the Pantomime and to Cogges Manor Farm near Witney to soak up some festive spirit. Then there will just be time to enjoy our ‘Christmas weekend’ together before packing up for the return home.
New School Year
September approached with the threat of an Indian summer and sure enough the sun shone on the start of the new academic year. The Burford Boarding Department welcomed back their overseas and UK boarders and Mr and Mrs Kaaber,(Housemaster and Housemistress) Mr Hopwood (Assistant Housemaster) and Mr Cowley (head of Year 7 and House Parent) arrived to join the already established and much loved team of duty staff.
The consultation on the implementation of the new activity programme involved both students and staff deciding on the most entertaining and exciting places to visit. The term began with a visit to the Cotswold Wildlife Park quickly followed with a trip into Oxford to stock up on start of term school supplies. Once the term was underway weekend destinations included places such as the Oasis Water Park, Hollywood Bowl, Free-Dog Trampoline Park and a trip to CineWorld; along with regular mini buses into Witney every Saturday.
With the warm weather hanging on until the start of October it seemed only fitting to squeeze in an Autumn BBQ one week. Also included in the programme are regular after school activities such as swimming, football, rugby, dancing martial arts and even dog walking for those missing their own furry friends.
On arrival at Burford School all students are allocated a House, over the course of year the House Superstars programme provides opportunities for all students to be involved in competitions against the other houses. This concludes in the awarding of the House Cup at the end of the Year to the winning House.
In the first of the scheduled competitions, each team had to provide two girls and two boys for a 5 basketball shoot out. In an incredible performance for Heylin, Isabel in Year 7, scored the highest score of the day with a fantastic score of 4/5 beating all of the school basketball team and earning resounding applause from everyone!
New noticeboards have been placed in the dining hall in order to display the points prominently and advertise other upcoming events such as House Music and House Football. House superstars was continued the following week with a general knowledge quiz lead by Mr Kaaber wherein despite valiant efforts from all of the houses, Warwick came out on top to take the number one place.
IELTS Success for our Sixth Formers
On Saturday 29 April, after a year of dedicated study, four of our Sixth Form Boarding Students along with Mrs Duffy made the trip to Bath University to sit their International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Exam.
The IELTS exam is the world’s most recognised and rigorous language testing system that enables international students to access Universities and demonstrates to large multi-national companies a person’s higher level of written and spoken English.
Each of the students began by sitting a listening test, followed by a reading paper and finally a written exam before the afternoon’s speaking test. Although nervous, the students were well prepared for the day and through true determination were able to meet the challenges with true Burford spirit.
Once the day was over the long wait began to receive the results from the British Council.
We are very proud to say ‘Well done’ to Maddie Ayers, Sabrina Cheung, Bobo Tse and Victoria Otten who all received high IELTS score that will enable them to enter any of the Russell Group Universities.
Special praise must also go to Mrs Duffy’s for her hard work and expert tuition throughout the year in preparing them for the exam.
Weekend Trip to Wales
All Key Stage 3 students (Years 7 to 9) in the boarding department, recently spent a weekend in Wales at Woodlands, an Oxfordshire County Council run outdoor education centre near Glasbury-on-Wye. This is an annual event for our boarders and was held over the last weekend of the Summer term.
It was a great chance to challenge the 27 boys and girls in a number of activities, throughout which they were encouraged to try their best; listen to instructions and help others. One of the challenges was to speak in English at all times, particularly when giving instructions to each other. The reason being, that we have a range of nationalities amongst the boarders.
On the Friday evening a late evening walk took place up a nearby hill, from which the views towards the Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains were amazing.
Over the next two days the students were split into three groups, each group being involved in canoeing down the River Wye to Hay-on-Wye; climbing a very tall climbing tower; completing a high ropes challenge course in the trees and travelling down a zip wire. On the Saturday evening, the three teams were challenged to complete nine practical team challenges over a one and a half hour period. This produced some interesting solutions.
In many ways Woodlands is very similar to the students’ way of life back in Burford, with its communal dining and dormitories but it also provides the chance for our youngsters to see another part of the U.K. whilst challenging them outside their normal routines and individual comfort zones.
A number of students were already asking if they could go again before they had even departed. Some will of course, whilst others who were with us just for one year in Year 9, left our shores within a week of the trip but each one of them took away pleasant memories and new personal skills.
The Boarding Luncheon Club
Building relations between the older members of our community and the boarders, the monthly Luncheon Club goes from strength to strength. Around thirty attended last month’s event and enjoyed meeting new friends and catching up with others over a freshly cooked meal made by Audrey and her catering staff.
A visit to Adam’s Farm
On a sunny afternoon last month the boarders visited the Cotswold Farm Park just beyond Stow in Gloucestershire. Adam’s Farm, as it is known to all those who watch Country File on the BBC, is home to a huge range of rare breed animals which Adam Henson is helping to preserve. The boarders got up close and personal with all the new born chickens, ducks, and sheep.
Oxbridge Information Evening
A very special evening was held at the boarding house when Dr Joe Organ of Brasenose College Oxford University visited. He gave a very interesting lecture on life at the University and spoke about the wide range of subjects open to students. He also handed out helpful tips on how to complete the application form with reference to the Personal Statement for boarders. He has promised to return shortly to help with interview techniques.
Pottery classes continue on Sundays with Mrs Kelly showing the boarders the basics of ceramics.
Mrs Williams made chocolate Easter eggs with the boarders on Saturday afternoon. Only few handmade Easter eggs were left after the weekend.
A review of the year 2014-15 produced by the students can be found at: http://youtu.be/x5xxBqZpQnE