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From Monday 10 April to Thursday 13 April 2017, thirty excited Sixth Form Geography students flew to the Bay of Naples and spent four days visiting the magnificent geographical and historical wonders of this beautiful region with the help of our wonderful guide, Sam.









On Day 1, after a short flight and drive along the winding cliff top roads, we arrived at our lovely hotel on the beach in the majestic Meta di Sorrento.  That evening we unexpectedly witnessed ‘La Via della Croce’ as part of the Holy Week processions in Meta di Sorrento. This historical representation of “The Stations of the Cross” is one of the most important and characteristic events which takes place in the Sorrentine Peninsular. The realistic setting, the beautiful costumes, the grandeur of the scenography and special effects drew an enormous crowd and impressed our students immensely.

Day 2 started with a brisk climb to the top of Mt Vesuvius, the only active volcano in mainland Europe that last erupted in 1944 and has produced some of the continent’s largest volcanic eruptions. Students were given talks on the tectonic landscape of the Bay and ways in which scientists monitor the volcanicity. Vesuvius is most famous for the 79 AD eruption which destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The stunning setting of Pompeii was our next stop.  Students were treated to a tour of the impressive amphitheatre, large palaestra, via dell’Abbondanza, Stabian baths and the equally impressive Forum.  All this in the shadow of Vesuvius. Our evening was topped off with an eventful game of bowling in Sorrento, which went down to the very last strike!

Day 3 commenced with a leisurely morning strolling through the tranquil lemon and olive groves at Le Colline di Sorrento before a mozzarella demonstration and tasting menu.  With all students and staff feeling very full after devouring an entire pizza and Nutella dessert each, we made our way to Herculaneum, another scene of devastation following the AD79 eruption.  Patrick Redman proceeded to ‘Wow’ Mr Todd-Jones and some of the boys with his impressive knowledge of this incredibly well preserved ancient Roman town.  This evening was complete with yet another pizza each and a quiz, which the staff won! No cheating involved!

The final day was certainly an attack on our sense of smell.  In the morning, we took a leisurely stroll through the streets of Sorrento sampling the lemon soap shops and the most amazing ‘gelato’!  On our way to the airport, we had one final stop at Solfatara, a shallow volcanic crater at Pozzuoli. While it is a dormant volcano it still emits jets of steam with sulfurous fumes leaving a very ‘eggy’ smell in the air, which left a few students feeling quesy.

Here are some quotes form students:

“The Italy trip was amazing! The highlight for me had to be Pompeii because it wasn’t what I expected at all.  I loved every minute, even though it nearly killed me climbing that volcano!”    Chloe Skillan

“The Bay of Naples trip was the perfect mix of fun and Geography combined, even if I did spend €15 on a fake volcanic bracelet.”  Annabelle Legood

“Having the chance to experience the views and culture was an amazing opportunity.”   Tom Jones

The ZAM Challenge

Members of Burford School Staff, Sixth Form and Alumni are taking on a team from Cecily’s Fund, in a 5-a-side football tournament on Friday 9 June.  The event is aimed at raising money for this year’s Sixth Form charity, ‘Cecily’s Fund’.  

Set up in memory of Cecily Eastwood, who died in a tragic accident during her gap year working in Africa, the money raised goes towards funding the education of orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia.

The aim of the tournament  is to raise £500, which will enable the charity to fund ten Zambian children’s education, for a year!

Staff, pupils and parents can pledge money on line by going to, http://BIT.LY/ZAMCHALLENGE

Lovely write up post the event by Cecily’s Fund at:

National Tenner Challenge Winners

Young Entrepreneurs from Oxfordshire celebrated at the National Tenner Challenge Awards 


Two teams of students from Burford School, Oxfordshire, who set up a business as part of the National Tenner Challenge, run by Young Enterprise and supported by BGF (Business Growth Fund) have won awards for their companies. Smartmarks won the Greatest Social Impact 15-19 years award and Seeds N’ Saucers won the Mishcon de Reya LEAP age 15-19 award.


Students were given £10 and four weeks to set up a business and make as much profit as they could, this year almost 20,000 students took part. The winners, including Smartmarks and Seeds N’ Saucers, were announced at an awards ceremony on the 2nd May held at The Bank of England. The awards saw students tour the Bank of England Museum, hear from young entrepreneur and investor Ben Towers and Chief Cashier at the Bank of England Victoria Cleland, and receive awards from Judges from Business Growth Fund (BGF) and Mishcon de Reya.


Smartmarks created and sold a craft pack for making origami bookmarks. The craft packs included coloured stickers, wax crayons, bright coloured paper, craft paper and googly eyes. The team sold their products to friends and teachers and at Burford School fair, St. John’s Primary School and at World Book Day events in Wychwood.


Seeds N’ Saucers upcycled teacups and saucers from charity shops into birdfeeders. The unique vintage appearance proved immensely popular at events including the Lenthall Concert and Burford School’s annual Christmas concert.


The Tenner Programme gives students an opportunity to develop key employability skills and develop a better understanding of the connection between what they learn in school and how they can apply that learning in the world of work. 84% of teachers were attracted to the Tenner Challenge for the ‘real experience’ it offers to young people.

One student from Smartmarks said: “We learnt how to manage finances. Our finance manager has learnt how to track every cost and every penny of income. Every member has had to learn to consider each other’s ideas. We learnt the importance of several different jobs within a business such as finance manager, HR manager and marketing.”


One student from Seeds N’ Saucers said:  “We learnt how to cooperate to fulfil the best interests of the team and of the customers. We focussed on the quality of our product as well as ensuring team morale by delegating tasks to those most capable of handling them and supporting each other when a problem arose.”


Michael Mercieca, Young Enterprise Chief Executive, said: “Tenner is an interactive and fun way for students to learn about running a business and develop key employability skills. Every year the Tenner Challenge has a real impact on young people’s employability skills and helps students fulfil their full potential.”


Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF, said: “The Tenner Challenge promotes employability skills and introduces young people to the idea of entrepreneurship, encouraging them to think creatively about how they could make a profit.


“BGF is delighted to have worked with Young Enterprise to deliver Tenner again. This year we’ve seen thousands of students develop key employability skills and create innovative businesses.”


Students have a business idea and use this start-up capital to make it happen, using real money to take calculated risks to gain first-hand business experience of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. At the end of the month participants asked to return their £10 pledges with a £1 legacy donation to enable Young Enterprise to support even more people the following year. Students are free to keep their remaining profits, which many donate to a charity of their choice.






Spanish Exchange students come to Burford

March was a busy month for our Year 10  hispanists as we welcomed  our partners from “Hermanos Machado” secondary school in Dos Hermanas, Sevilla.

Their week started with a trip to Blenheim Palace on Friday 24th, followed by a weekend with their host families. Many families took their partner students to London, Bath and other interesting locations and there was always an opportunity for the boys to play football together under a glorious British sun!. I had to remind the Spanish students on many occasions that we were being very lucky with the weather and had to apologise for not being able to offer them our typical grey and cloudy weather!

Other trips included a visit to Oxford and Stratford where our students were able to share the Shakespeare heritage with their partners.

Although some of our English students were very busy taking part in rehearsals and performances for the school musical Oliver, this allowed the Spanish students and teachers to enjoy a very worthwhile experience which they thoroughly enjoyed. We even had one of the Spanish students helping backstage with costumes!

Overall it was a great opportunity for all students to put their linguistic expertise into practice and gain a better understanding of each other’s culture and we look forward to the present year 8 taking part on the next successful Burford-Sevilla exchange.


Volcanoes – A Musical Performance

Saturday saw the culmination of several months’ work for some of our budding composers. Having been inspired by a trip to the Volcanoes exhibition at the Bodleian Library back in March, five of our Music students, Phoebe Haywood and Emma Rednall from Year 11 and Eddie Gripper, Katie Leong and Rebecca Rigby from Year 12 composed works in a project led by Dr John Traill of Oxford University. The pieces received their world premiere at the Weston Library, part of the Bodleian Library, at the weekend.

By kind invitation of the curator of the exhibition, Professor David Pyle, the works were performed by St Anne’s Camerata, conducted by Dr Traill. Written in response to the exhibition the pieces were vivid representations of volcanic eruptions, with titles reflecting different aspects of the exhibits. The appreciative audience at the Bodleian were able to visit the exhibition to see the students’ inspirations as well as listen to the performances.

In addition to the students’ works, David Heyes, a renowned Double Bassist performed and led an ensemble of ten bassists in a premiere of one of his own works.

The students expressed how delighted they were with the performances and what a great experience it was to hear their works played live, if a little nerve-wracking!

Duke of Edinburgh Celebration Evening

On Tuesday 2 May Miss Scott, our Duke of Edinburgh Manager, welcomed parents, past and present, to celebrate the achievement of our students across all three levels of the Award. The evening was a celebration of the work and commitment of the many students at Burford who reach success in all areas of the scheme – volunteering, sport, skill and expeditions.

The numbers of students taking the Awards at Burford is extremely high – 116 this academic year – and we are the only centre to offer all three levels to our students. A special thank you was given to the parents for their support over the years and to the volunteers who help with all aspects of the scheme, from training to administration to expeditions and ensure that everything runs smoothly.

We were delighted to see again some of our Gold D of E Achievers from past years who have now moved on to work and University and to welcome back Mr Jim Meridew who preceded Miss Scott as Duke of Edinburgh Manager and took many of our Gold students through their earlier awards.

We very much look forward to continuing the huge enthusiasm there is for the awards at Burford and to taking many more students right through to Gold.