Students in National Final
Six Year 13 students made an early start on 25 June to travel to the Hilton Metropole hotel in Birmingham. This prestigious location was chosen as the venue for the final of the National ICAWE Business and Skills Education competition in which the forty-six schools from all over the United Kingdom who had won their individual regional heats were about to compete to determine the national winner.
Upon arrival the Burford team – Hollie Merriman, Chris Holmes, James Shuttleworth, Jamie Nelson, Will Parsons and Guy Walker –registered and started to size up their opposition. They were met by their team mentor from the previous round of heats and began to discuss tactics for the challenging task ahead. The task involved analysing information about a struggling television company. There was a large quantity of information to take on board and, the team were asked to produce an eight minute presentation incorporating IT, to the company’s Board of Directors. The presentation required them to highlight the company’s current performance and provide suggestions for future performance enhancement. The Directors asked some very demanding questions to ascertain that each team had carefully considered the issues raised and were able to justify their views.
Each team had two and a half hours to carry out their full analysis and prepare their presentation. Many of the teams struggled with this time constraint because there was a great deal of information to consider, many problems to find solutions to and an urgent need to rehearse their presentation skills. The Burford team worked steadily throughout this time and James Shuttleworth was identified by one of the roving judges as a young man demonstrating positive leadership skills, sharing his ideas with others and supporting colleagues with their own ideas. Hence, he was in the running for one of the prizes to be announced later. This approach helped the Burford presentation go well, although the quality of all teams in the final was very high and all teams were able to present and justify their views very effectively.
With the presentations completed all team members were able to retire to their own private rooms within the hotel in order to relax, get changed and prepare for the evenings formal dinner. A pre-dinner glass of wine in the main hall started the night’s entertainment before everyone entered the dining room and celebratory speeches led to the arrival of the starter and the first prizes of the day were announced. As the starter led to the main course and then the desert more prize winners were revealed to the eager audience. Sadly, Burford failed to add any more prizes to their current title of Oxfordshire Regional Winners. After an evening of fabulous food and the collective excitement of slowly revealing the prize winners a disco was held until midnight to allow all participants to unwind and socialise after a challenging day.
Boarders’ Weekend Trip to Wales
All Key Stage 3 students (Years 7 to 9) from Burford Boarding, 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 at Burford Boarding.
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 hopefully taking away pleasant memories and new personal skills.
Alumni Event and Official re-opening of the Pavilion
Last week we held our first alumni event inviting past students and staff who had signed up to join the newly established Burford School Association. We combined this event with the opening of our newly refurbished and re-thatched pavilion and the annual match between our 1st XI and the visiting MCC team.
The weather held and it was lovely to have some very recent alumni together with a number who had left us many years ago. Mr Luke Ryan, Captain of the Oxfordshire Minor Counties Team, very kindly cut the ribbon on the pavilion and Mr Richard Martin, one of our Governors who has been instrumental in launching the alumni group, gave a short speech. After a tough match the MCC triumphed but everyone agreed that it had been a wonderful afternoon and we look forward to many more alumni events in the coming years.
Summer Gala Event
Bring a picnic or share the barbeque and join us for our
End of Year Grand Summer Gala
on Friday 17 July 2015
showcasing the wide range of musical groups and talent of our students.
Gates open at 6.30 with music from 7.00pm including:
- Jazz dance hits
- Songs from the musicals
- Modern pop classics
- A selection from top film scores
U16s: £7…..Adults: £10…..Family: £25 (2adults/2 U16s or 1 adult/3 U16s)
Available from Mrs Andrew (Medical Room)
Sixth Form Induction Days
Students who will be starting Year 12 in September took part in three days of induction to the Sixth Form. A mixed package of activities gave them the chance to ‘taste’ some of the extra-curricular opportunities we offer, be inspired to accept the academic challenge and make new friends through fun team-building activities.
The first two days included a presentation designed to get students thinking about the demands of sixth form learning, followed by a rotation of activities asking students to come up with an idea for a business, debate a current topic, plan a lesson, co-operate and problem solve. All of these were aimed at providing an introduction to our Enrichment Programme including: Young Enterprise, Youth Speaks, Debating Matters, MUNGA, BRAVO and our Senior Leader programme. Students also learned about some of the special needs that a number of pupils at our school have. This will equip them with the understanding they need to be a useful assistant when they are helping in lower school lessons – a compulsory part of being a sixth form student at Burford.
In contrast, an amusing and inspirational speech by Joy Marsden, a motivational speaker, trainer and coach, made students realise what they could achieve with the right mind-set.
The second day ended with some fun team-building activities and a tea party in the sixth form garden with cakes, scones and sandwiches made by some of the students themselves. For the final day students took part in a First Aid course leaving with a recognized First Aid qualification.
Everyone had a busy, enjoyable and useful three days; made new friends and left knowing more about what the sixth form is like and how to meet the challenges. We look forward to seeing them all again in September.
Design and Technology Exhibition
On Tuesday 7 July we held our annual Design and Technology Exhibition, showcasing the outstanding work of our ‘A’ Level and GCSE students. This year’s work was of an exceptionally high standard and ranged from Product Design, Engineering, and Textiles to Systems and Control, Resistant Materials and Catering.
The exhibition was extremely well attended by parents, Governors and friends. The certificates were presented by Mr Richard Smith, Farm Manager at Daylesford Organic Farm, near Kingham.