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Successful week in St Anton

Successful week in St Anton

Forty one students from Years 9 – 12 embarked on the latest annual ski trip to St Anton in Austria during the February half term. Following an overnight journey by coach, students arrived to stunning weather and great skiing conditions.

Throughout the week students enjoyed four hours of skiing tuition plus the opportunity to sample the buzzing town of St Anton at the end of each day. During the evenings they also enjoyed bowling, curling and a quiz night.

The week proved to be a great success with all students making excellent progress with their skiing.

We look forward to revisiting the slopes of Austria next February.

Splendid Productions visit Burford

‘Macbeth’ by Splendid Productions

Year 10s, 11s, 12s and 13s were treated to a performance of the classic tragedy ‘Macbeth’ (written by Shakespeare and adapted by Splendid Productions) and a workshop on Epic Theatre on Friday 24 February 2017.

The company specialises in making plays accessible through their highly physical and entertaining interpretations of classic texts, using both Brechtian techniques and their own inimitable Splendid style. It was a fantastic morning and we were all thoroughly entertained and educated!


District League – Basketball

Two very narrow defeats against Henry Box, 48-44, and Bartholomew School Eynsham, 49-43, failed to deter our U19 Basketball squad, and all their hard work and commitment came to fruition as they finished the District League matches on a high, beating Marlborough School Woodstock, 53-21 and then Chipping Norton School, 63-16.


Equestrian Team through to Championships

On Sunday 12 February several of the equestrian team competed at Wickstead Farm NSEA competition and, despite the snow performed extremely well.  Results were:

Poppy Charles and Morgan-Beth Crockford joint 1st place in the Preliminary Test

The team, consisting of Poppy Charles, Morgan-Beth Crockford, Taryn Langley and Caitlin Fowlie, achieved the highest placed Oxfordshire Team and have successfully qualified for the Championships in April.


First Prize for Burford Student

For the second year running several students submitted work to represent the school at the annual Carterton Open Art Exhibition at the community Centre in Carterton. The Art Department entered the work of eleven Key Stage 3 students, with items ranging from still life paintings and mixed media drawings to tonal pencil studies.

The Art Department are delighted that the Key Stage 3 First Prize was awarded to Caitlin Turner, in Year 9, for her exceptional tonal pencil drawing.

Creativity flows with Year 8 Geography project

As part of their learning about the dramatic  causes and devastating effects of volcanoes, 8CEL and 8FWI were challenged to create volcano models for homework. The students were given two weeks and could be as creative as they wished. Creating the models was a useful way to consolidate the key features and structure of volcanoes, whilst also illustrating the uniqueness of each one.

A huge well done to all students involved – some very well deserved achievement points were awarded as well as prizes for first, second and third in each class. The results certainly didn’t disappoint!


Students win through to County Gala

Burford students performed exceptionally well at the West Oxfordshire District Swimming Gala, at Chipping Norton, on 1 February 2017.


Our U16 Girls, U14 Boys, U14 Girls and our U12 Girls, all won their competitions and now go forward to representing the West at the County Gala, in Oxford on 4 April 2017.


Special mention must go Camille Duff, of Year 7, who set a new District record of 15.84 seconds in the 25m Freestyle, Eloise Thursby- Atwood, of Year 7 who set a new District record of 20.10 seconds, in the 25m Breast Stroke and to Billy Wotten of Year 9, who broke his own record in the 50 m Breast Stroke, with a time of 39.84 seconds.


Open Day of Modern Languages

On Thursday 9 February, ten Year 9 students went to Oxford University for an Open Day of Modern Languages.

They had a Taster Lesson in Italian and Portuguese and they subtitled a short film in French and German. They listened to speakers talking about linguistics and how languages can be studied further than GCSE along with university degrees.

Students had a great time and found this very valuable. It reinforced their choice of studying a language for GCSE.

Discovering Tectonics at the Natural History Museum

On a cold and drizzly morning on Monday 16 January we set off to the Natural History Museum in London. Year 8 are currently studying tectonic hazards in their Geography lessons, so it was time to take part in some hands on learning and exploring.

The day encompassed a visit to the Volcanoes and Earthquakes exhibition where Year 8 students used Discovery Guides to learn about these dangerous tectonic hazards. They also enjoyed the earthquake simulator where many students were shocked at how scary the unexpected shudders and tremors felt beneath their feet.  Another gallery visited was From the Beginning where students explored the creation of the earth and marvelled at how it has been constantly changing during its 4,600 million year existence into the earth we know and recognise today.

The highlight for most students though was definitely the Rocks the House interactive show. The museum staff led an action packed show specifically for our students. During the show, a range of Burford students were selected to take part in different activities. Sam Backhouse from 8CEL used custard powder to investigate the structure of the mantle, while Hana Cooper and Isaac Pylee, both from 8CBR, simulated being an earthquake to show us how we can measure them!


Let’s see what the students had to say about their day…

“On the 16th January, 50 Year 8 students went on a tectonic hazards Geography trip. This trip happened just before we started that topic in class. I wanted to go on the Geography Tectonics trip be informed in the topic before we even began it. The whole day was really enjoyable, but, my favourite part was the interactive show, which only our school took part in. The experiments were very visual and informative. The presentation was involving, eye-catching and memorable. One of the best things I learnt, was that tectonic hazards got have such devastating effects that they can move whole countries, and destroy islands. For example, one earthquake moved Japan 2.4 metres North-East. I found this astonishing and surreal. I would love to visit the museum again and spend more time there to learn more about tectonic hazards and other subjects in the museum.” Alice Wilson 8FWI



“On the 16th January I went to The Natural History Museum in London. I wanted to go so I could learn more about the topic we were starting in class. My favourite part of the day was the house interactive show. The show included interesting facts on plate boundaries, mountains, volcanos and earthquakes. In the show I learnt how the crust floated on the mantle. This is like oobleck (water and cornflour) meaning when pressure is applied to the mantle it becomes a solid but when there’s no pressure it becomes a liquid. I learnt how dangerous volcanos and earthquakes are and that volcanologist and seismologist will go and test volcanoes and earthquakes even though this is risky. For example a volcanologist would wear a fire proximity suit, this is a grey suit designed to protect them from extreme temperature. The trip experience was inspirational and has helped me learn the main facts on the topic helping me to have a better understanding when I learn. I would definitely visit the The Natural History Museum again.” Isabelle Riley 8CEL

“I wanted to go on the trip to the natural history museum to express my love for the Earth. I find it fascinating how it works! Because I love learning about how the Earth works, my favourite part was probably looking at the volcanoes and earthquakes section as well as the history and interesting facts of all the planets. However, all the parts were great such as the speech we were given about volcanoes. I found it very engaging. I’ve learnt about different volcanoes, how they formed and why. I’ve also learnt about different earthquakes, their power, and where they occur. I would definitely visit the museum again as it was very interesting, however, it would have to be about a different subject as there is just so many to choose from! If you have not been to this museum, I deeply encourage you to go, you won’t regret it!” Tristan Howard 8CEL

“The day started with the students and the teachers who would be accompanying us on the trip meeting at the buses, registering, and getting in the bus. We were off to London! After two and a half hours (London traffic. Predictable, but still annoying) we were there. We had to go in the side entrance, next to the ‘Cocoon’, because the diplodocus skeleton (AKA ‘Dippy’) was being disassembled and put on a road tour. After we got in we went down to the School Reception and had our lunch, which we had packed in our bags. After lunch, we walked up to the ‘VOLCANOES AND EARTHQUAKES’ exhibit, and wandered around for fifteen minutes before the teachers called us in to go to the ‘Rocks the House’ show, in which I used my hands and custard powder to simulate the mantle of the Earth moving about, which creates continental drift, volcanoes and earthquakes, which in turn create tsunamis. When I was moving my hands, the powder became almost solid, but when I stopped moving my hands it started to liquefy. After this, several large scale models of the tectonic plates, and we fitted them together.

When the talk had finished, we went round the exhibit again, this time filling out the questions on an answer sheet that we had been given. After half an hour going round the exhibit, including the earthquake simulator, make your own micro-earthquake machine and the super-volcanoes section, we headed off to the gift shop for fifteen minutes, before heading back to the buss and going back to school. The reason I wanted to go was that our next geography topic was Plate Tectonics, and I wanted to get some extra knowledge in so I would get a higher level.” Samuel Backhouse 8PSA

“I wanted to go on the Geography trip because visiting the Natural History Museum sounded interesting and exciting. I remembered it from when I had been before; it was really cool! I took part in the Rocks the House interactive show, and it was really good! We learnt more about tectonic plates and tsunamis and about the magma in the mantle. My favourite part of the trip was going into the earthquake room; it was based in a shop nad it was really fun. New things I learnt were about supervolcanoes: their eruptions are really rate and they are more than 1000 times larger than normal volcanoes. I also learnt that pumice fragments are light enough to float on water to Africa.” Hana Cooper 8CBR


All in all, we had a wonderful day exploring the Natural History Museum and investigating all things plate tectonics.

Developing Life Drawing Skills

The Art Department recently introduced a new life drawing course to help Year 12 and 13 art students extend their open portfolio work and to gain valuable experience in drawing the human form from life. There were 7 sessions in total, each lasting three hours  during which students developed their own styles and experimented with a range of media.


The life drawing course was very successful and an enjoyable experience for our students. For many of our Year 12 students the life drawing has inspired them to continue with human form as a theme for their A-level Personal Investigation. For our Year 13 students, the life drawing has had a major impact on their Personal Investigation and their art portfolios have been strengthened through this opportunity.